Shared Decision Making in Patients With Newly Diagnosed Prostate Cancer: A Model for Treatment Education and Support

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Screening for prostate cancer is controversial. Treatment choices for verified cases of prostate cancer provide another level of controversy as to which treatment, if any, is best. This controversy and uncertainty create a dilemma for the newly diagnosed patient. A great deal of information must be assimilated if the patient is to make an informed decision to pursue any treatment. A metropolitan Veterans Affairs hospital has created a model to assist the newly diagnosed prostate cancer patient in acquiring this information, while helping him through the decision tree. This model, which utilizes the skills of the advanced practice nurse, strives toward maintaining the patient's autonomy while clarifying these uncertainties, introduces the concept of shared decision making, and provides a potential support group.

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