There is an increasing interest in identifying potent cancer-preventive and therapeutic agents against breast cancer. A great number of reports have in recent years dealt with anticancer characteristics of Semecarpus anacardium nut extract (SA). The majority of these studies has been targeted on the protective effect rendered to the living system rather than the preventive effect on cancer cells. SA was tested for its inhibitory effect on human breast cancer cells (T47D). Cytotoxicity analyses suggested that these cells had become apoptotic. SA was discovered to induce rapid Ca2+ mobilization from intracellular stores of T47D cell line, and its cytotoxicity against T47D was well correlated with altered mitochondrial transmembrane potential. At the molecular level, these changes are accompanied by decrease in bcl2 and increase in bax, cytochrome c, caspases and PARP cleavage, and ultimately by internucleosomal DNA fragmentation. Taken together, our results provide unprecedented evidence that SA triggers apoptotic signals in T47D cells.