Staging and grading
Staging is a way of describing or classifying a cancer based on the extent of cancer in the body. The stage is often based on the size of the tumour, whether the cancer has spread (metastasized) from where it started to other parts of the body and where it has spread. Stages are based on specific factors for each type of cancer.
Grading is a way of classifying cancer cells. The pathologistpathologist1. The study of disease, including causes, development and effects on the body. 2. The symptoms, processes or conditions of a disease. gives the cancer a grade based on how different they look from normal cells (differentiation), how quickly they are growing and dividing, and how likely they are to spread. Doctors sometimes use the grade of the cancer to figure out how slowly or quickly the cancer may be growing.
Different staging and grading systems are used for different cancers. Some types of cancer do not have a specific staging or grading system.
The doctor uses the stage and grade of the cancer, as well as other factors, to help plan treatment, estimate how the cancer might respond to treatment and give a prognosis (the expected outcome or course of a disease).
Clinical trial discovery improves quality of life
A clinical trial led by the Society’s NCIC Clinical Trials group found that men with prostate cancer who are treated with intermittent courses of hormone therapy live as long as those receiving continuous therapy.