PURPOSE: This study was undertaken for evaluation of the extent of apoptosis and expression of the bcl-2 gene and p53 gene as prognostic factors in breast cancer. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The extent of apoptosis was determined by the 3' end-labeling method of DNA in tissue sections and the expressions of bcl-2 and p53 was determined by immunohistochemical staining in 41 cases of breast carcinomas. RESULT: bcl-2 was correlated with ER positivity (p=0.005), with nuclear grade (p=0.001), and with tumor size (p=0.019), whereas it was inversely correlated with apoptosis (p= 0.018). No association was found with axillary nodal status. Apoptosis was not associated with clinicopathological parameters, such as ER positivity, nuclear grade, tumor size, and lymph node status. p53 was not associated with above clinicopathological parameters. No relationship between the expression of bcl-2 and p53 was found. CONCLUSION: These results suggest that bcl-2 protein inhibit apoptosis, and its expression is associated with favorable clinicopathological features.