What cancer grading is:
You may hear your doctor talk about the grade of your cancer. Tumour grade describes a tumour in terms of how abnormal the tumour cells are compared to normal cells. It also describes how abnormal the tissues look under a microscope.
The grade gives your doctor some idea of how the cancer might behave. A low grade cancer is likely to grow more slowly and be less likely to spread than a high grade one. Doctors can't be certain exactly how the cells will behave. But the grade is a useful indicator.
Tumour grade is sometimes taken into account as part of cancer staging systems. The stage of a cancer describes how big the cancer is and whether it has spread or not.
Common grading systems
Some types of cancer have their own grading systems but generally there are 3 grades. They are described as
Grade 1 – The cancer cells look very similar to normal cells and are growing slowly
Grade 2 – The cells look unlike normal cells and are growing more quickly than normal
Grade 3 – The cancer cells look very abnormal and are growing quickly
Some systems have more than 3 grades.
GX means that the grade can't be assessed. It is also called undetermined grade.