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Sarcomas and Grade

The grade tells you how normal or abnormal the cells of a tumor appear to be. It is decided by looking at cells from your cancer under a microscope. The grade gives your doctor an idea of how quickly or slowly your cancer is likely to grow. A sample of the cancer (a biopsy) must be taken before your sarcoma can be graded as either.

  • Grade 1 - the cells do not look that different to normal cells

  • Grade 2 - the cancer cells look moderately abnormal

  • Grade 3 or 4 - the cancer cells look very abnormal and not much like normal cells

Grade 1 and 2 are defined as low grade. Grade 3 and 4 are high grade. A low grade cancer is likely to be slower growing and less likely to spread to another part of the body.

A high grade cancer is likely to be faster growing and is more likely to spread than a low grade sarcoma. After the diagnosis is final and the grade has been determined you will most likely be advised to have a surgical procedure, or begin a chemotherapy or radiation treatment to kill or shrink the cancer, as well as to prevent the cancer from coming back. Please see the surgery, chemotherapy and radiation sections for additional information.

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