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13

NCCN Guidelines for Patients

®

:

Brain Cancer – Gliomas, Version 1.2016

1

Glioma basics

Cancer grade

Cancer grade

The cancer grade is a rating of how much the cancer

cells are like normal cells. It is used to predict the

outlook (prognosis) of the cancer and plan treatment.

A doctor needs to view the cancer cells with a

microscope to assess the cancer grade. Gliomas are

grouped into 4 grades.

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†

Grade I

means that the cancer cells look almost

normal. These cancers grow slowly. Most

people with grade I gliomas live a long time.

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†

Grade II

means the cancer cells look somewhat

abnormal. These cancers grow slowly but can

invade normal tissue. Sometimes, they return

after treatment as a higher-grade glioma.

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Grade III

means the cancer cells don’t look

much like normal cells. These cancer cells

quickly increase in number. Grade III gliomas

are called anaplastic cancers.

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†

Grade IV

means the cancer cells don’t look like

normal cells. These cancers grow very quickly.

Gliomas are often described as either low- or high-

grade cancers. Low-grade gliomas include grades I

and II. High-grade gliomas include grades III and IV.

Tumors often contain cells of different grades. The

highest grade will be used to grade the cancer. The

highest grade is used even if most of the tumor is a

lower grade.

Helpful Tip

ü

Accept the help being offered. It

is hard, but everyone has your best

interest at heart.