As part of your NET diagnosis, your doctors will have performed several tests to evaluate the characteristics of your tumour and learn how advanced it is. The “stage“ of a tumour describes the extent of cancer throughout the body. It often includes information such as the size of the tumour and whether it has metastasized (spread).
The “grade“ of a tumour is an assessment of the cancer cells that make up the tumour. By examining these cells under a microscope, a pathologist can determine how quickly the cells are growing and dividing, which can provide information on how likely the cancer is to spread.
Different staging and grading systems are used for different types of cancer. In the case of NETs, the classifications are based on where in the body the tumour is located, with many other factors taken into account. Owing to the complexity of NETs, the staging and grading systems are frequently re-evaluated by the best international experts in the field.