Abstract: The available results from breast cancer chemoprevention trials are reviewed. Four trials using tamoxifen have been performed, of which three have reported efficacy results. A fifth trial using raloxifene has also been published. The largest tamoxifen trial shows approximately a 50% reduction in breast cancer incidence in the short term, but the two smaller trials have not found any incidence reduction. Greater agreement exists for side effects: thromboembolic disease and endometrial cancers are raised about 2- to 3-fold when tamoxifen is used for 5 years. The possible reasons for the discrepancy in breast cancer reduction are explored. A review of trial parameters does not clearly explain this difference, and a metanalysis indicates that all results are compatible with a 42% reduction in short-term incidence. Several important questions remain about the clinical implication of this result, including the effect on mortality, the appropriate risk groups for chemoprevention, and the long-term effects on incidence. Continued follow-up of these trials is crucial for resolving these issues.