Grading fallopian tube cancer
Grading describes how the cancer cells look compared to normal, healthy cells. Knowing the grade gives your healthcare team an idea of how quickly the cancer may be growing and how likely it is to spread. This helps them plan your treatment. The grade can also help the healthcare team predict future outcomes (your prognosis) and how the cancer might respond to treatment.
To find out the grade of fallopian tube cancer, a pathologist looks at a tissue sample from the fallopian tube under a microscope. They look at how different the cells look from normal cells (called differentiation).
The pathologist gives fallopian tube cancer a grade from 1 to 3. A lower number means the cancer is a lower grade.
Low-grade cancers have cancer cells that are well differentiated. The cells are abnormal but look a lot like normal cells and are arranged a lot like normal cells. Lower grade cancers tend to grow slowly and are less likely to spread.
High-grade cancers have cancer cells that are poorly differentiated or undifferentiated. The cells don’t look like normal cells and are arranged very differently. Higher grade cancers tend to grow more quickly and are more likely to spread than low-grade cancers.
Expert review and references
American Society of Clinical Oncology. Ovarian, Fallopian Tube, and Peritoneal Cancer. 2016: http://www.cancer.net/cancer-types/ovarian-cancer/view-all.
Black D, Barakat RR . Fallopian tube cancer. Raghavan D, Blanke CD, Honson DH, et al (eds.). Textbook of Uncommon Cancer. 4th ed. Wiley Blackwell; 2012: 38: 531 - 539.
Brierley JD, Gospodarowicz MK, Wittekind C (eds.). TNM Classification of Malignant Tumours. 8th ed. Wiley Blackwell; 2017.