Breast Cancer Grading and Staging

Staging and grading are ways in which healthcare professionals describe the size of your breast cancer, whether and how far it has spread, and how fast it may grow. Grading is Assess by evaluating acinar formation, nuclear size/pleomorphism and mitotic activity. An attempt should be made to grade the pre-operative core biopsy as there is acceptable concordance with excision grade.

Grading:

Grade 1 – the cancer cells look small and uniform like normal cells, and are usually slow-growing compared to other grades of breast cancer

Grade 2 – the cancer cells are slightly bigger than normal cells, varying in shape and are growing faster than normal cells

Grade 3 – the cancer cells look different to normal cells, and are usually faster-growing than normal cells

Staging: Staging is used to assess the size of a tumour, whether it has spread and how far it has spread. Understanding the stage of the cancer helps doctors to predict the likely outcome and design a treatment plan for individual patients.

Stage 1: Usually means that a cancer is relatively small and contained within the breast.

Stage 2 usually means the cancer has not started to spread into surrounding tissue but the tumour is larger than in Stage 1. Sometimes Stage 2 means that cancer cells have spread into lymph nodes close to the tumour.

Stage 3 usually means the cancer is larger. It may have started to spread into surrounding tissues and there are cancer cells in the lymph nodes in the area.

Stage 4 means the cancer has spread from where it started to another body organ. This is also called secondary or metastatic cancer.

Recurrent Breast Cancer: The cancer does return after treatment for early-stage disease, it is called recurrent cancer. When breast cancer recurs, it may come back in the following parts of the body, same place as the original cancer, chest wall, lymph node, bones, lungs, liver and brain.

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