Canine Cancer Grades and Stages
In diagnosing dog cancer, testing is often done to determine the type and severity of cancer.
If sent to a lab, the pathologist will label a dog tumor with a “grade” and your veterinarian will assign a “stage” to your dog’s cancer.
The grade describes how differentiated the cells are and how aggressive cancer appears to be.
Grade 1 Tumors
Grade 1 tumors are cell differentiated and carry a good prognosis. Usually, no treatment is necessary after the tumor is surgically removed.
Grade 2 Tumors
Grade 2 tumors are moderately differentiated and sometimes complicated and difficult to predict the prognosis and treatment options.
Grade 3 Tumors
Grade 3 tumors have the poorest prognosis. Luckily, Grade 3 tumors are the most uncommon in skin cancer.
In cancer, the “stage” describes how much the cancer has already spread. Stage 1 describes a single tumor with no signs of spreading and clean margins.
Stage 2 and Stage 3 tumors display more signs of invasion, have unclean margins, and may present as multiple tumors.
Stage 4 tumors involve systemic metastasis and have a poor prognosis. Dog skin cancer is usually treated with surgical removal.
Other cancer therapies may be used in addition to surgery if the cancer has metastasized and become systemic.
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