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Breast cancer research

Men and women discussing breast cancer

These pages of the breast cancer section are about research into breast cancer causes, prevention and treatments.

All treatments have to be fully researched before they can be adopted as standard treatment for everyone. This is so that

  • We can be sure they work
  • We can be sure they work better than the treatments available at the moment
  • We know they are safe

First of all, treatments are developed and tested in laboratories. For ethical and safety reasons, experimental treatments must be tested this way before they can be tried on patients. If a treatment described here is said to be at the laboratory stage of research, it is not ready for patients and is not available either within or outside the NHS. Cancer Research UK supports a lot of UK laboratory research into cancer.

Tests in patients are called clinical trials. Cancer Research UK supports many UK and international clinical trials. The trials and research section has information about what trials are including information about the 4 phases of trials

If you are interested in taking part in a clinical trial, visit our searchable database of clinical trials and choose 'breast cancer'. If you are interested in a particular trial, you could print it off and take it to your own specialist. If the trial is suitable for you, your doctor will need to refer you to the research team. The database also has information about closed trials and trial results. For general information about what is happening in breast cancer research, choose from the following menu

The video below tells you more about clinical trials:

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Updated: 23 October 2014