Grade of Cancer
The grade of the cancer classifies the cancer cells based on how they look and act. A pathologist will view the cancer cells under a microscope to find out how different they appear from your normal cells, how quickly they multiply and how likely they are to spread to other parts of your body.
Different types of cancer use different grading systems. In general, tumours are graded low, medium or high.
Low-grade tumours have cells that look and act like the healthy cells around them. A low-grade tumour grows slowly, and is not aggressive or likely to spread.
Medium-grade tumours have a mix of high-grade and low-grade tumour cells or they look and act between the extremes of high-grade and low-grade tumours.
High-grade tumours have cells that look very different from the healthy cells around them. A high-grade tumour grows faster and is more likely to spread than a low-grade tumour.
The grade of a tumour is useful for most types of cancer, but not all. Knowing the grade of your cancer helps with planning your treatment and measuring how well treatment is working.
You can ask your health care team for copies of your reports and test results.