About 180,000 American women will be diagnosed with early stage breast cancer during 1993. In many of these patients breast cancer is a systemic disease at diagnosis and thus not curable by local treatment alone. The development of optimal forms of systemic adjuvant therapy has been a major area of research for more than 30 years. The two most widely employed types of adjuvant therapy, cytotoxic chemotherapy and tamoxifen, have been shown to improve relapse-free and overall survival in certain patient subsets. This review highlights recent advances in adjuvant therapy of early stage breast cancer and discusses current treatment guidelines.
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