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Singer Melissa Etheridge performed at Universal City's Hard Rock Café to launch Pinktober -- the restaurant's month long breast cancer awareness program.

"Extra" lifechanger and surgical breast specialist Dr. Kristi Funk sat down with Melissa to talk about the crooner's diagnosis four years ago -- and offered sound advice for women suffering from breast cancer.

For women diagnosed with the disease, Etheridge says, "I would suggest just talking about it -- communication is huge." Melissa also says it's okay to let your guard down around loved ones. "If you're just diagnosed I'd suggest letting people take care of you. Let them -- they want to."

Melissa also revealed how she and her partner Tammy Lynn Michaels broke the news to their children. "We actually started then and said, 'Mama has a lump in her breast and this lump could be many things, but we need to check and see what it is -- because if it has a cold it might spread to her whole body and be really bad for it.'"

The singer stated that she and Tammy -- who have four tots, two of which Melissa had with her former partner Julie Cypher -- plan to tie the knot. "We have four children and we're trying to find the right time now actually to go down and do it -- is where we're at," laughs Etheridge.

Hard Rock's Pinktober items will be sold exclusively at select Hard Rock International properties worldwide, including Cafes, Hotels, Casinos, Park and online at HardRock.com.

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