High grade

July 6, 2023

What does high grade mean?

In pathology, high grade is used to describe cells that look very abnormal when examined under the microscope. In order to determine if a group of cells are high grade, pathologists typically compare the abnormal-looking cells to the cells normally found in that part of the body. The term high grade is commonly used to describe the cells found in both precancerous conditions and cancers. The term high grade is also found in the names of many different types of tumours.

Does high grade mean cancer?

The term high grade is commonly used to describe both cancer and precancerous conditions. Other terms that are often used to describe high grade cancers include carcinoma, adenocarcinoma, and sarcoma. Dysplasia is a precancerous condition that can be described as high grade when the cells are very abnormal looking and the risk of turning into cancer over time is high.

Does high grade mean the cells are precancerous?

Not necessarily. High grade is commonly used to describe precancerous cells; however, it can also be used to describe other conditions such as cancerous tumours. When high grade is being used to describe a precancerous condition, it is often combined with the term dysplasia. High grade dysplasia typically involves the cells that cover the outside or inside surface of tissue and it is commonly seen in the esophagus, stomach, and colon. Other examples of high grade precancerous conditions include high grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (HSIL) and high grade ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) of the breast.

What does high grade mean in a cancer report?

Cancer is described as high grade when the cells in the tumour are very abnormal looking compared to normal, healthy cells. High grade cancers typically behave in a more aggressive manner and are more likely to grow quickly and metastasize (spread) to other parts of the body.

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