One in 12 women in Britain will develop breast cancer and in any one year 15000 women will die of the disease. Prognosis for patients with advanced breast cancer has altered little during the past 30 years, but for those diagnosed early outlook has improved. Greater public awareness coupled with a national screening programme has led more women to present at an early stage1 and gives them a greater opportunity to take advantage of improved management. In this, the first of two articles on breast cancer, we discuss developments in the management of early disease. A later article will examine the follow-up of patients with breast cancer.
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