gleason score

When a man is suspected of having prostate cancer, the doctor will take a biopsy?removing a small sample of tissue from the prostate gland with a needle for further investigation. A pathologist then studies that tissue sample under a microscope to look at the cells and see whether they have the abnormal appearance of cancer.

Biopsy results for prostate cancers are typically given in the form of a Gleason score. Tissue from different parts of the prostate are assigned a score from 1 to 5, based on how closely they resemble normal tissue. Tissue that looks like normal prostate tissue gets a grade of 1. Cells that look very abnormal have a grade of 5. The numbers from the two sections that make up most of the cancer are then added together to arrive at a Gleason score. The highest possible Gleason score is 10.

Prostate cancers with a Gleason score of 6 are called ?low-grade.? They tend to grow slowly and may be watched without initiating treatment right away. Cancers with a Gleason score of 7 are ?intermediate grade.? They grow at a faster rate than grade 6 cancers. And cancers with a Gleason score of 8 to 10 are ?high grade.? They are very aggressive, growing and spreading throughout the body quickly. These high-grade cancers require the most aggressive treatment.

The Gleason score is important, because it can predict the future course of a man?s cancer, even if it has been caught early before it has spread. Once prostate cancer has been diagnosed, other tests will be performed to determine whether the cancer has spread beyond the prostate. These test results, along with the Gleason score, will be used to stage the cancer. The Gleason score and stage can help the doctor determine the right treatment.

Prostate Gland Cancer: Testing and Diagnosis

If your doctor has determined that you’re experiencing prostate cancer symptoms and that your otherwise normal PSA levels are elevated, he likely will order a biopsy of tissue from the prostate gland. Your doctor may elect to biopsy your prostate based on whether or not you have possible symptoms of … Read More

What Causes Prostate Cancer?

The glandular cells of the prostate play an important role in reproduction, producing the fluids that help make up semen. These tiny cells also serve as the birthplace for nearly all prostate cancers. Genes in these cells slowly mutate, leading to the formation of abnormal cells. The cells proliferate and … Read More

What Is the Gleason Score?

Anyone who has been faced with the prospect of prostate cancer will encounter the phrase "Gleason score." And what is the Gleason score? Doctors use it to help them predict the risk of how aggressive a prostate cancer may be and how likely it is to spread beyond the prostate … Read More

Prostate Cancer Stages

Prostate cancer stages describe how far a cancer of the prostate has spread. Doctors define stages in determining treatment for prostate cancer and in predicting the chances of recovery. Prostate cancer stages are determined by evaluating the prostate tissue and determining its Gleason score (a microscopic assessment of the cells’ … Read More

An Abnormal PSA Result: What Comes Next?

The prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test remains central to prostate cancer screening and, at the same time, at the center of considerable controversy. While proponents cite data supporting the test as a way to reduce the risk of dying from prostate cancer, critics point to the chain of events that … Read More

Prostate Cancer Survival Rates

Upon receiving the diagnosis of prostate cancer, men naturally want to know the most current prostate cancer survival rates. Every man’s prognosis or outlook for cancer depends on his overall health, his age, his Gleason score, his prostate cancer stage, the type of treatment he receives, and how his cancer … Read More

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