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Gynecologic (GYN) Cancer | Grading vs. Staging

From the GYN Cancer Articles List

What is the difference between grading and staging for cancer?Can you explain the difference between grading and staging for cancer?


The simple explanation is that the stage refers to how invasive the cancer is, and the grade is how different the cells are from normal cells. Generally speaking, all that can be discerned from a biopsy is the grade, and full staging does not occur until after a hysterectomy and/or oophorectomy.

Several factors are used to stage cancer, including the depth of the tumor; whether the tumor has spread to nearby organs; the cellular make-up and activity of the cancer; whether the lymph nodes have been invaded; and whether it has spread to other parts of the body.

There is more than one grading system, including the FIGO (International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics) system and the newer AJCC (American Joint Committee on Cancer) system.

It is important to know that the different stages of cancer may require different treatment regimes, and different grades within each stage can also change the treatment plan.

For more information regarding grading and staging of specific cancers, we encourage you to refer to the National Cancer Institute, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), and the American Cancer Society (ACS) in addition to speaking to your own oncologist.


This content was written by staff of HysterSisters.com by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support.

07-28-2011 - 12:46 PM


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