Choosing between lumpectomy with radiation versus mastectomy is difficult for women with early-stage breast cancer, and doubt can decrease women's confidence and satisfaction. As a result, the current study surveyed satisfaction before and after surgery in a convenience sample of women with early-stage breast cancer from a single practice. All women received either total mastectomy or lumpectomy plus radiation based on their informed choice of surgical options. The surgeon and the principal investigator educated patients about both surgeries at the time of consent. Participants answered a survey about satisfaction with their decision making before their chosen surgical procedure and again by telephone six months later. Participants felt that they had made an informed choice at the time of decision (87%) and at follow-up (93%). In addition, most women were satisfied with their choice of surgical procedure at time of decision (87%) as well as six months after surgery (96%). This study allowed women to significantly participate in their care through surgical decision making, which improved satisfaction. Nurses are uniquely positioned to support women with early-stage breast cancer in their decision-making process.
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