Stage 3 breast cancer: Life expectancy and survival rates

At stage 3, breast cancer may also spread to the chest wall or the skin of the breast.

Receiving a stage 3 cancer diagnosis can be distressing, but life expectancy and treatments are improving all the time.

This article looks at the survival rates for stage 3 breast cancer, as well as treatment options, remission, and ways of coping with the diagnosis.

Life expectancy and survival rates

According to the National Cancer Institute in the United States, the survival rate for women with stage 3 breast cancer over a 5-year period is approximately 72 percent.

This means that 72 out of 100 women are expected to be alive 5 years after their diagnosis.

For men with stage 3 breast cancer, the 5-year survival rate is slightly higher, at 75 percent.

By comparison, the survival rate for women with stage 0 or stage 1 breast cancer is almost 100 percent. For stage 2 breast cancer, the survival rate is about 93 percent, and for stage 4 it is about 22 percent.

For men, these figures are 100 percent for stages 0 and 1, 87 percent for stage 2, and 25 percent for stage 4.

However, an individual’s life expectancy depends upon a variety of factors. Age, fitness, response to treatment, sex, the size of tumors, and many other factors can affect a person’s life expectancy.

According to the American Cancer Society, cancer treatment and outlook are improving all the time.

Also, a study that tracks survival rates over 5 years will reflect the state of medical knowledge 5 years ago. This means that cancer survival rates may be better than the statistics indicate.

To get a more accurate estimation of life expectancy, speak with a doctor.

Despite significant improvements in detection and treatment, many people experience fear or trauma after a cancer diagnosis.

A person may experience a wide range of emotions when receiving a breast cancer diagnosis, and each person’s response is unique.

It may be helpful to speak to loved ones and to others dealing with similar diagnoses. A person may also wish to avoid overexertion and take time for themselves.

Significant physical and psychological changes can occur during breast cancer treatment. The side effects of chemotherapy, for example, can significantly reduce a person’s quality of life.

After a mastectomy, a person may find the change in their body emotionally challenging. The removal of one or both breasts can affect a person’s sense of identity, sexuality, and their sexual relationships. This may be especially true for younger women.

For some people, long-term hormone therapy can have ongoing side effects, including fatigue, cognitive changes, and menopause symptoms.

It can help to speak with a doctor about support groups. These are available online and may exist within a person’s community or town.

A therapist can also help a person manage stress and anxiety during treatment and recovery.


Life expectancy and survival rates for stage 3 breast cancer are improving all the time. The current 5-year survival rates for stage 3 breast cancer are 72 percent for women and 75 percent for men.

However, many factors influence a person’s life expectancy after a breast cancer diagnosis. A doctor can provide more detailed, personalized information.

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