Another factor that can affect the outlook for survival is the grade of the cancer. Grade is a description of how closely the cancer resembles normal colorectal tissue when looked at under a microscope.
The scale used for grading colorectal cancers goes from G1 (where the cancer looks much like normal colorectal tissue) to G4 (where the cancer looks very abnormal). The grades G2 and G3 fall somewhere in between. The grade is often simplified as either "low-grade" (G1 or G2) or "high-grade" (G3 or G4).Low-grade cancers tend to grow and spread more slowly than high-grade cancers. Most of the time, the outlook is better for low-grade cancers than it is for high-grade cancers of the same stage. Doctors sometimes use this distinction to help decide whether a patient should get additional (adjuvant) treatment with chemotherapy after surgery.