United Knowledge, Expert Care

Stages & grading

This refers to the size of the cancer and the extent to which it has grown and/or spread.

There are four recognised stages:

  • Stage 1: Small and only growing in the bladder lining
  • Stage 2: When it has spread into the inner muscle layer
    of the bladder wall
  • Stage 3: When it has spread deep into the muscle layer
    of the bladder wall
  • Stage 4: Tumours which have grown out of the bladder wall and into surrounding structures such as the prostate, bowel, etc.

As with staging, grading is also determined on microscopic examination and refers to the appearance of the cancer cells to indicate how likely they are to grow and develop.

In simplistic terms, there are 3 grades. The lower the grade the less likely the tumours are to grow and spread. The most abnormal cells are usually grade 3; these are therefore more likely to 'behave badly' and also grow quickly.

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