What is the Gleason score in prostate cancer? This is the question that must always be answered by a pathologist when predicting a patient`s survival and choosing the best treatment options to combat the prostate cancer cells. For purposes of this discussion, this article will focus on Gleason classification and
Assigning the Gleason score
When giving a Gleason score, the doctor must collect and examine the patient`s biopsy samples of the tumor to identify the two most predominant types of glandular growth patterns in the cancer cells. After that, he will assign a grade from the Gleason scale to each of these two patterns then add them together. For example, if the score assigned to the most predominant pattern is 3, and the score assigned to the second most dominant pattern is 4, the total Gleason score is 7. However, some doctors may indicate the scores separately as 3 + 4, instead of writing 7.
The total Gleason score must always be between 6 and 10. If the prostate tumor cells have a higher Gleason score, it indicates that the cancer is advanced, and it requires urgent treatment intervention. While Gleason score is mostly used for adenocarcinoma, a common type of prostate cancer, nearly all kinds of prostate cancers usually have low total Gleason scores, between 6 and 7.
Gleason scores that are less than six are denied since the doctor must determine with high certainty that the lowest graded growth patterns are indeed cancerous.
At the end of the day, it is important to note that the Gleason score may not clearly predict what will happen to the patient; instead, it only gives the pathologist an idea of how the prostate cancer might progress. While most cancers behave as expect, some do change. To learn more, visit http://www.sarasotaprostate.com