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Grade of tumor vs. stage of tumor

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Although often used interchangeably, the terms "Stage" and "Grade" are not the same. This difference can be disregarded when it comes to brain cancers but not with some other kinds of cancers where both terms are used to describe very specific things. "Grade" refers to microscopic details about the cells. It is a way to put a number to the difference between a normal cell and the cancer cells. It is also an indication of how fast it can grow. "Stage" has to do with how far it has metastasized already. Both Grade and Stage are very much Cancer Type specific although in general the lower the Grade and Stage the closer to normal the tumor cells are, the less it has spread, and the better off you are.

[URL="http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Detection/tumor-grade"]Grade vs Stage - National Cancer Institute Article[/URL]

In addition, the term "stage" is often used in a much less clinical way. Most commonly this is found in terms such as "End Stage" meaning the things that happen close to the end of their struggle with cancer. The "early shutdown stages" is another example. I say that this use of the term is less clinical because the other uses have specific, officially accepted medical descriptions.

Updated 04-12-2011 at 06:26 PM by brainman

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