Editorial: PDF OnlyHelping women to choose breast cancer treatment alternativesVALANIS, BARBARA G. Dr.P.H.; RUMPLER, CAROL H. M.S.N.Author Information Barbara G. Valanis is Professor of Nursing and Associate Professor of Environmental Health at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, College of Nursing and Health, Cincinnati, Ohio. Carol H. Rumpler is Assistant Professor of Nursing and Chair, Department of Psychiatric Nursing at Franklin University, Columbus, Ohio. Cancer Nursing: June 1985 - Volume 8 - Issue 3 - p 167-176 Buy Abstract Although physicians have traditionally been the primary decision-makers concerning medical procedures, women have come to expect a voice in decisions regarding treatment, particularly treatment for a malignant breast lump. The physician's expertise and expectation to dictate treatment, a sense of urgency about the need to make a treatment decision, and the fears and anxieties often associated with breast cancer create stress for the patient. Decision-making under stress may be less effective than decisions made under less pressured circumstances. Nurses have the opportunity to help women anticipate a potential breast cancer diagnosis and to consider available treatment alternatives well before the crises precipitated by detecting a lump. Providing a woman with information and helping her to explore personal values and relationships related to a possible loss of a breast prior to the time when a treatment decision is needed gives the woman some confidence and control when she is faced with an actual decision. Intervention strategies for facilitating decision-making are discussed. © Lippincott-Raven Publishers.