Stage 3 Cancer Life Expectancy

Understanding the odds of survival is a good starting point for treating cancer, because once you understand the odds you can resolve to beat them. Cancer progression is divided into stages, with later stages being more difficult to treat and cure. Stage three cancer is one step away from the final stage (stage four) and has a lower survival rate and shorter overall life expectancy than stage two.


Cancer is a malignant growth of cells where the body fails to properly dispose of mutant or abnormal cells. As cancer cells divide at a rate faster than normal cells, over time they will come to dominate the organism, resulting in termination of life as vital functions are irreparably compromised. Symptoms include weight loss, feelings of general unease, night sweats and chills.

Cancer Stages

According to the National Cancer Institute, cancer progression is divided into five separate stages, with each indicating roughly how far the tumor has spread throughout your system. In stage zero, the tumor is still confined to the original site. In stage one and two, the tumor has grown or begun to expand into deeper layers of the original tissue. In stage three, the tumor has begun to spread outward to surrounding areas and some lymph nodes, but it has yet to metastasize. In stage four, the tumor has metastasized--spread throughout the body to sites far away from the original location.

Stage Three Survival Rate

The general five-year survival rate for stage three cancer depends on the type of cancer with which you are infected. For example, according to, the survival rate for stage three lung cancer is 15.5 percent, whereas the survival rate for stage three colon cancer is around 64 percent. These figures represent the average percentage of patients who will be alive five years after the date of their diagnosis.

Life Expectancy

Like survival rates, life expectancy for stage three cancer can vary widely depending on the particular type of cancer with which you are infected. Additionally, according to, determining life expectancy is difficult for anything less than stage four cancers, because there is still a possibility that the cancer can be pushed into remission. Thus, it is impossible to determine life expectancy except on a case-by-case basis.


Even if your doctor has provided you with a less than favorable life expectancy, remember that at best it is just an educated guess based on statistics from individuals with similar cases. Thus, it is entirely likely that you will be able to exceed any life expectancy estimate by a substantial margin. A positive attitude is key in fighting cancer, so keep your head held high throughout to maximize your life expectancy with any stage of cancer.