Stage 3 breast cancer refers to cancer in the breast that has spread to several nearby lymph nodes. Doctors also describe breast cancer as stage 3 if a tumor is larger than 5 centimeters and cancer has spread to any lymph nodes, but not to distant organs. 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.
Stage 3 Breast Cancer: Types, Treatment, Survival
Survival depends on many different factors. It depends on your:. These are general statistics based on large groups of patients. No UK-wide statistics are available for different stages of breast cancer or individual treatments. These statistics are from one area of England for people diagnosed between and The cancer is not curable at this point, but may be controlled with treatment for some years.
Breast cancer survival statistics
Put simply, the stage describes how widespread or advanced the cancer is in the breast tissue and possibly other parts of your body. Determining the stage helps doctors explain the breadth of the cancer to you. Breast cancer is also classified according to other characteristics. Learn more about how specialists at MSK classify types of breast cancer. Learn more about the anatomy of your breast.
Stage 3 breast cancer is more advanced than stage 2 but is not considered metastatic. With stage 3, cancer has not spread from the breast to organs or other distant sites in the body. Instead, cancer cells are constrained to nearby axillary underarm lymph nodes or those beneath your sternum breastbone or clavicle collarbone. A stage 3 breast tumor can range in size from less than 2 centimeters to over 5 centimeters, but there are cases in which no tumor is found in breast tissue. This stage of cancer is not strictly defined by the presence of a tumor but rather the degree of its invasiveness.