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Brain Cancer: Staging/Grading System

World Health Organization (WHO) grading system is the most widely used to describe the severity of CNS tumor based on the appearance of cancer cells under a microscope. This system classifies different CNS cancers/tumors into four grades.

Following table describe the characteristics of different grades:

GRADE DESCRIPTION
I The cancer cells look like normal cells. These are typically slow-growing tumors that do not invade nearby brain tissue.
II The cancer cells look like normal cells. These are slow-growing tumors that can involve nearby brain tissue and can transform to aggressive forms over time.
III The cancer cells do not look like normal cells. These are fast-growing tumors that can involve nearby brain tissue and require intensive treatment.
IV The cancer cells do not look like normal cells. These are very aggressive and fast-growing tumors that can involve nearby brain tissue and require most intense treatment.

Prognostic factors: Besides the grades of CNS cancers/tumors, many factors have been identified which can predict the outlook of the CNS cancer/tumor. These factors are generally taken into account before starting the treatment of the disease. The prognostic factors for CNS cancers/tumors include the type of cancer/tumor, size, location, resectability, extent of spread, patient’s age, patient’s performance status, among other factors.

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