Breast Cancer Life Expectancy

Cancer » Breast Cancer » Breast Cancer Life Expectancy

Breast cancer life expectancy is quite a difficult task as it is based on the immunity of individual patient. It may vary for each patient. There are certain factors such as stage of breast cancer, presence of metastasis and achieved treatment determines the life expectancy. Life expectancy of a patient decreases as the cancer moves in to more advanced stages. Five years is the average survival rate for the patients of each stage of breast cancer.

Note: Patients should remember that this rate is the average survival rate and breast cancer patient may live for a longer time. Life expectancy mainly depends on the stage of the breast cancer, since diagnosis and treatment in early stages helps to increase the breast cancer survival rates.

Life expectancy in Stage 1:

In stage 2 breast cancer, the diameter of the tumor is around 2cm. At this stage, these tumors are not spread out of the lymph nodes or in the nearby areas of breast. There are 100% chances of a patient in stage I breast cancer to survive for minimum five years.

Life expectancy in stage 2:

In stage 2 breast cancer, the lump can be found in three conditions:

  • The diameter of the tumor is less than 2 cm, but it has spread in the lymph nodes present in the armpit.
  • The diameter of the breast tumor is more than 5cm, but it has not spread in the lymph nodes in the patient's armpit.
  • There is no tumor in the breast, but it has spread into more than two lymph nodes in the armpit of the patient.

In this case, the five year survival rate for patient is less than 90 percent.

Life expectancy in stage 3:

Breast Cancer Life Expectancy Similar to the stage 2 breast cancer, even stage 3 breast cancer can be classified into three categories:

  • The lump is less than 5cm in diameter, and the cancer cells has spread in the lymph nodes which are linked with each other as well as the other surrounding tissues
  • The lump is bigger than 5 cm and has spread in the lymph nodes under the arms of the patient, but the nodes are not attached with each other.
  • The lump can be less than 5cm and can be spread in the lymph nodes present above the collarbone or muscles of the chest wall.

In this case, the survival rate of an diagnosed patient for five years is between 50 and 70 percent

Life expectancy in stage 4:

A stage 4 breast cancer is the advanced stage of breast cancer, it is considered to be an invasive form of cancer. Metastases of stage 4 breast cancer can emerge in different body organs such as bone, brain, liver and lungs.

As per studies, the five year breast cancer expectancy rate of a patient undergoing stage IV breast cancer is less than 20 percent.

Different factors affecting breast cancer life expectancy:

There are a few factors that affect the life expectancy. Some of them are mentioned below:

Predictions by doctor:

In some cases, doctors may fail to provide an accurate prognosis of breast cancer. When breast cancer metastases in woman are diagnosed by a doctor, the report may show that she can survive for mere months, but a variety of aspects resulting in an individual may extend the life of the patient.


Race of an individual plays an important role in the survivability of breast cancer patients. As per the National Cancer Institute, the 5 year survivability was around 75 percent in black women while 90 percent in white women. Certainly, the large extent of women in both groups was getting treatments.

Rare Regressions:

In rare cases, women undergoing breast cancer have experienced regressions. Regression means, reduction in the size of the tumor and thus decrease in the amount if cancer in body. But this situation does not mean that people with a detected cancer does not recommended to get the treatment.

It is fact that if a person is diagnosed at an advanced stage, the survival rate of breast cancer reduces and if diagnosed at early stages the possibility of destroying the cancer cells increases. All these facts and features play an important role in the breast cancer life expectancy and thus all of these vary person to person. It is recommended that women should undergo regular medical checkup after the age of 40. This can help to manage and treat the cancer easily.

Cancer Articles!