The average life expectancy of a cancer patient varies dramatically depending on the patient's type of cancer and the stage of cancer that the patient has, according to the Cancer Treatment Centers of America. For example, a patient with pancreatic cancer has a 94 percent chance of dying from the disease within 5 years after the diagnosis has been made.
Another example involves liver cancer, where there are three stages: localized, regional and distant. Those who are in the localized stage have a 28 percent, 5-year relative survival rate, meaning that there is a 28 percent chance that they will live 5 years past their diagnosis. This percentage falls for the regional stage to 7 percent, and falls even further to 2 percent for the distant stage, reports the American Cancer Society. Patients should speak with their doctors to determine their average life expectancy.