What is your grade?

So when I was first diagnosed all I wanted to know what STAGE was I but did you know that knowing your grade and what it means is also important. I found this to be so interesting and really important. Did you know this?

Breast Cancer Grade

Knowing a breast cancer’s grade is important to understand how fast it’s likely to grow and spread.

What is a breast cancer’s grade?

Cancer cells are given a grade when they are removed from the breast and checked in the lab. The grade is based on how much the cancer cells look like normal cells. The grade is used to help predict your outcome (prognosis) and to help figure out what treatments might work best.

A low grade number (grade 1) usually means the cancer is slower-growing and less likely to spread.

A high grade number (grade 3) means a faster-growing cancer that’s more likely to spread.

An intermediate grade number (grade 2) means the cancer is growing faster than a grade 1 cancer but slower than a grade 3 cancer.

Grading invasive breast cancer cells

Three features of the invasive breast cancer cell are studied and each is given a score. The scores are then added to get a number between 3 and 9 that is used to get a grade of 1, 2, or 3, which is noted on your pathology report. Sometimes the terms well differentiated, moderately differentiated, and poorly differentiated are used to describe the grade instead of numbers:

Grade 1 or well differentiated (score 3, 4, or 5). The cells are slower-growing, and look more like normal breast cells.

Grade 2 or moderately differentiated (score 6, 7). The cells are growing at a speed of and look like cells somewhere between grades 1 and 3.

Grade 3 or poorly differentiated (score 8, 9). The cancer cells look very different from normal cells and will probably grow and spread faster.

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