Canadian Cancer Society logo

Gallbladder cancer

You are here: 

Grades of gallbladder cancer

Grading is a way of classifying gallbladder cancer cells based on their appearance and behaviour when viewed under a microscope. To find out the grade of a tumour, the biopsy sample is examined under a microscope. A grade is given based on how the cancer cells look and behave compared with normal cells (differentiation). This can give the healthcare team an idea of how quickly the cancer may be growing.

The grade of gallbladder cancer is based on the degree of differentiation of cancer cells and their rate of growth.




well differentiated or low grade – slow growing, less likely to spread


moderately differentiated or moderate grade


poorly differentiated or high grade – tend to grow quickly, more likely to spread

Grading plays an important part in planning gallbladder cancer treatment and can also be used to help estimate the prognosis (future outcome).


Rebecca and James Hamm It was very important that the fundraiser be in honour of my uncle, because it’s a great way to show our support for him.

Read the Hamm's story

Providing rides to cancer treatment

Illustration of car

For more than 50 years, the Canadian Cancer Society’s transportation program has enabled patients to focus their energy on fighting cancer and not on worrying about how they will get to treatment.

Learn more