Grading esophageal cancer
To find out the grade of esophageal cancer, the pathologist looks at a tissue sample from the tumour under a microscope. The pathologist gives esophageal cancer a grade from 1 to 3. The lower the number, the lower the grade.
The grade is a description of how the cancer cells look and act compared to normal cells. How different the cancer cells are is described as differentiation.
Low grade means that the cancers cells are well or moderately differentiated. They look and act much like normal cells. Lower grade cancer cells tend to be slow growing and are less likely to spread.
High grade means that the cancer cells are poorly differentiated or undifferentiated. They look and act less normal, or more abnormal. Higher grade cancer cells tend to grow more quickly and are more likely to spread.
Knowing the grade may give your healthcare team an idea of how quickly the cancer may be growing and how likely it is to spread. This helps them plan your treatment. The grade can also help the healthcare team predict how you might respond to treatment.
Taking action against all cancers
The latest Canadian Cancer Statistics report found that of all newly diagnosed cancers in 2017, half are expected to be lung, colorectal, breast and prostate cancers. Learn what you can do to reduce the burden of cancer.