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List of abbreviations

All abbreviations that have been used in this report are listed here unless the abbreviation is well known (e.g. NHS), or it has been used only once, or it is a non-standard abbreviation used only in figures/tables/appendices, in which case the abbreviation is defined in the figure legend or in the notes at the end of the table.


Breast cancer is the most common cancer affecting women in the UK. In England and Wales, in 2007, around 45,000 new cases of breast cancer were diagnosed and there were nearly 11,000 deaths due to breast cancer. Breast cancer incidence rates increase with age; around 80% of breast cancers occur in women aged > 50 years, and women have a one in nine lifetime risk of developing breast cancer. Breast cancer prevalence is around 172,000 women in the UK according to the most recently published data. This relatively high prevalence rate has been attributed to high incidence rates combined with 5-year survival rates of > 75%.

Executive summary

Breast cancer is the most common cancer affecting women in the UK. Tamoxifen (TAM) is considered the standard of care for premenopausal women with oestrogen receptor positive (ER+) breast cancer and for postmenopausal women with ER+ early breast cancer considered to be at low risk of disease recurrence.

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