Tumor Grade (cont.)
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Does the same grading scale apply to all tumors?
Grading systems are different for each type of cancer. For example, pathologists use the Gleason system to describe the degree of differentiation of prostate cancer cells. The Gleason system uses scores ranging from Grade 2 to Grade 10. Lower Gleason scores describe well-differentiated, less aggressive tumors. Higher scores describe poorly differentiated, more aggressive tumors. Other grading systems include the Bloom-Richardson system for breast cancer and the Fuhrman system for kidney cancer.
Does tumor grade affect a patient's treatment options?
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Doctors use tumor grade and many other factors, such as cancer stage, to develop an individual treatment plan for the patient and to predict the patient's prognosis. Generally, a lower grade indicates a better prognosis (the likely outcome or course of a disease; the chance of recovery or recurrence). However, the importance of tumor grade in planning treatment and estimating a patient's prognosis is greater for certain types of cancers, such as soft tissue sarcoma, primary brain tumors, lymphomas, and breast and prostate cancer. Patients should speak with their doctor about tumor grade and how it relates to their diagnosis and treatment.
Tumor Grade At A Glance
1. American Joint Committee on Cancer. AJCC Cancer Staging Manual. 6th ed. New York, NY: Springer, 2002.
SOURCE: cancer.gov. Tumor Grade: Questions and Answers.
Last Editorial Review: 8/17/2010 10:44:52 AM