Women’s Agency and Role in Choice of Treatment
On discovering a lump in their breast, women were faced with a series of decisions to make and actions to take, and these choices, and the mindsets behind them, will be the focus of the current chapter. Women made choices about the lump: sometimes they decided to ignore it; sometimes they were determined to deal with it quickly. I argue that women were active agents in their own lives, including illness, and that they made their own decisions regarding their treatment. I therefore take a glance at the sources of information on breast cancer that women had available in making such decisions. I also look at the role played in the illness and its treatment by friends, family, neighbours and various medical practitioners. e chapter concludes with a discussion of the attitudes held by patients towards the most drastic of measures and o en their last recourse, surgical operation.