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).