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Grades of small intestine cancer

Grading is a way of classifying small intestine 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 and how likely it is to spread.

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



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


moderately differentiated or moderate grade


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

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


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