Ir al menú principal
Ir al contenido principal
Ir al pie de página
Para individuos y familias:
Para individuos y familias
Otros seguros complementarios
Explorar cobertura a través de tu empleador
Cómo comprar seguros de salud
Tipos de seguro dental
Período de Inscripción Abierta vs. Período Especial de Inscripción
Ver todos los temas
Comprar planes de Medicare
Guía para miembros
Buscar un médico
Ingresar a myCigna
Centro de información
Biblioteca del bienestar
Cancer Staging and Grading
Cancer Staging and Grading
The stage of a cancer describes how much cancer is in the body and where it is located. If the cancer has spread, the stage also includes how far it has spread.
The grade describes how tumor cells look under a microscope compared to cells from healthy tissue near the tumor. The tumor grade may help predict how quickly the cancer will grow and spread.
Knowing the stage and grade of a cancer helps doctors know what treatment to use. It also helps predict how long the person will survive and what chance there is of a cure.
There are several methods of cancer staging. Doctors may use this simple system to describe the overall stage of a cancer.
- Stage 0: Cancer hasn't spread.
- Stage I, II, or III: Cancer has grown or has spread into nearby tissues and perhaps lymph nodes. The higher the stage, the larger the tumor is or the farther the cancer has spread.
- Stage IV: Cancer has spread beyond the lymph nodes into other parts of the body (metastasized).
Doctors often need more details as they make decisions about treatment, so they may use the TNM method. The TNM method is based on:
- The size of the tumor (T).
- The spread of the cancer into nearby lymph nodes (N).
- The spread of the cancer to other body parts (M, for metastasis).
Most cancers can be described using the TNM system. But other staging systems are used for certain cancers (for example, cancers in children).
A tumor's grade describes how its cells look under a microscope. Tumors are generally graded from 1 to 4. A lower number means more normal-looking cells and a lower likelihood that the cancer will spread quickly.
- A grade 1 tumor has tumor cells that look like normal cells. These tumors usually grow slowly.
- A grade 4 tumor has cells that look very different from normal cells. These tumors often grow quickly and spread rapidly.
Doctors use other grading methods for some types of cancer. For example, prostate cancers are graded with a Gleason score.
Current as of: May 4, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Joseph O'Donnell MD - Hematology, Oncology
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2023 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Skin Cancer, Melanoma