What is high-grade cancer?

By: |
New Delhi | Updated: July 4, 2018 4:09:46 PM

High-grade cancers usually have a worse prognosis than low-grade cancers and need intensive treatment that has to be done right away before cancer spreads to other parts of the body.

high grade cancer,  cancer grades, cancer cells, cancer stages, cancer awareness, cancer treatment, tumor cells, cancer diagnosis, low grade cancer, cancer, sonali bendre, sonali bendre cancer, advanced cancer, cancer research UKAccording to Cancer Research UK, there are 3 grades mainly which signify the level of differentiation in tumor cells. (Representational Image)

In a shocking turn of events, Bollywood actor Sonali Bendre has revealed through an Instagram post that she has been diagnosed with high-grade cancer that had metastasized. Bendre, who has been a part of many hit Bollywood films like Hum Saath Saath Hain, Sarfarosh and Kal Ho Na Ho, posted a picture with her husband Goldie Behl, accompanied by a long caption that discussed how she got to know about the disease and the treatment. She has been undergoing in New York and gratitude towards her family and loved ones who have stood by her side.

So, let’s have a look at what exactly is a ‘High-Grade Cancer’? According to NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms, in high-grade cancer cells and tissue look abnormal under a microscope. High-grade cancer cells grow fast and spread more quickly than low-grade cancer cells. Low-grade cancer cells look a lot like cells from normal tissue and tend to grow slowly. High-grade cancers usually have a worse prognosis than low-grade cancers and need intensive treatment that has to be done right away before cancer spreads to other parts of the body.

These tumor grades are an indicator of cancer staging systems which help doctors ascertain how big the cancer is and how far it has spread. According to WebMD, cancer has 4 levels of staging. Stage 0 is the initial level, meaning there is no cancer but abnormal cells are present which have the potential to become cancer. Stage 1 means the cancer is present only in one part of the body. Stage 2 and Stage 3 means cancer has started to grow into the adjoining tissues as well. Stage 4 indicates that the cancer is already in its advanced stages and metastasized.

According to Cancer Research UK, there are 3 grades mainly which signify the level of differentiation in tumor cells:

Grade 1- the cancer cells look very similar to normal cells and are well differentiated. They grow slowly. It is in the early stages of cancer when it is small.

Grade 2 – the cells look abnormal and are growing quickly. They are quickly spreading into nearby tissues and lymph nodes.

Grade 3 – the cancer cells look highly abnormal and are poorly differentiated. It is fast growing and has already spread to other parts of the body and hence needs immediate treatment.

In some cases, there are more than 3 grades like GX which means the grade is not assessable. It is also known as the undetermined grade.

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