Grading brain tumours

After the diagnosis, your cancer specialist may carry out further tests to learn more about the tumour.

A doctor who is an expert in cell types (pathologist) examines cells from the brain tumour. This is done after you have surgery to remove the tumour or a biopsy.

The doctor can tell the grade of the tumour from how the cells look under a microscope. The grade of the tumour affects how slowly or quickly it may grow. Knowing this helps the doctors to plan the best treatment for you.

Grades 1 and 2

These tumours are usually called low-grade or benign. They grow slowly.

Grades 3 and 4

These tumours are called high-grade or malignant. They grow more quickly.

Back to Understanding your diagnosis

Just been diagnosed

If you’ve just been diagnosed with a brain tumour, there are many ways we can help you.

Treatment overview

Your treatment plan may depend on the tumour’s size, position, type, grade, biomarkers and your symptoms.

My Cancer Treatment

Macmillan is supporting a new online tool to help you make decisions about your treatment and care.