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An investigation of the impact of hormonal exposures in breast cancer patients

Project Description

Due to enhanced detection methods, the number of breast cancer survivors has dramatically increased in the past few decades. Medications that alter oestrogen levels, such as tamoxifen and aromatase inhibitors, are commonly prescribed in the treatment of breast cancer and are successful in reducing the risk of cancer recurrence but little is known as to how these (and other hormone-modulating medications) affect other clinical outcomes after diagnosis.

This project will use routine health data from cancer registries, drug dispensing records and hospital admissions (e.g. NHS Scotland, Northern Ireland Cancer Registry) to conduct studies investigating the influence of hormone-modulating medications on a range of outcomes in breast cancer patients such as second cancers, heart disease, stroke, fractures etc. Data from large cohort studies such as the UK Biobank will also be used to identify risk factors for breast and other female reproductive cancers.

The student will gain substantial experience in the handling and statistical analysis of large datasets and there will also be opportunities for the conduct of systematic reviews. This project would be suitable for a student with a background in a health-related subject (e.g. epidemiology, pharmacy, biomedical sicence) or a quantitative subject (e.g. maths, statistics).


Candidates should have or expect to obtain a 2:1 or higher Honours degree or equivalent in a relevant public health, psychology, economics or social sciences subject

English Language

Candidates applying from countries where the first language is not English should produce evidence of their competence through a qualification such as IELTS or TOEFL score.

The minimum recommended score for the School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Science is:
• IELTS score of 6.0 with not less than 5.5 in each of the four component elements of listening, reading, speaking and writing taken within the last 2 years;
• TOEFL score of 80+ (internet basted test), taken within the last 2 years, with minimum component scores of; Listening 17, Reading 18, Speaking 20, Writing 17);
• A valid Certificate of Proficiency in English grade A or B;
• A valid Certificate of Advanced English grade A; or
• A first or upper second class honours degree from a university based in the UK, Republic of Ireland or other suitably quality assured location in a country deemed by the UK Border Agency to be majority English speaking.

For a list of English Language qualifications also accepted by the School and University please see the following link:

The English Language Unit (ELU) offers both pre-sessional and in-sessional courses in English for academic purposes and study skills. Courses vary in length and full information can be obtained from the ELU

Funding Notes


For further details re eligibility criteria (including academic, citizenship and residency criteria) please click on the following link: View Website


Please visit the School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences, Centre for Public Health, website for further details about the Centre:

Related Subjects

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