You might think the Gleason Score has something to do with the former Saints
safety, but you’d be wrong.
The Gleason Score is a grading system used to determine the aggressiveness
of prostate cancer, and is used to determine treatment options.
Grading and staging define the progress of cancer and whether it has spread.
The grade is a measure of how quickly the cells are likely to spread and
grow. The most common grading system is the Gleason Score, named for the
pathologist who conceived the system in the 1960s.
The Gleason Score grades each tissue piece is given a grade on a scale
of 1 to 5. Grade 1 cells indicate normal tissue while cells closest to
5 are considered “high-grade” and have changed so much that
they barely resemble normal cells. Most cancers score a grade of 3 or higher.
Because prostate tumors are often made up of cancerous cells with different
grades, two grades are assigned for each patient – a primary grade
for the cells that make up the tumor’s largest area and a secondary
grade for the cells of the next largest area. For example, if the Gleason
Score is 3+4=7, it means most of the tumor is grade 3 and the next largest
section is grade 4 for a total Gleason Score of 7.
Most Gleason Scores range from 6 to 10. The higher the score, the more
likely the cancer will grow and spread quickly.
- Scores lower than 6 describe cancer cells that look similar to normal cells
and indicate that the cancer is growing slowly.
- Scores of 7 indicate an intermediate risk for aggressive cancer. Scoring
a 7 means that the primary score was 3 or 4. Tumors with a primary score
of 3 and a secondary score of 4 have a positive outlook. Cancers with
a primary Gleason Score of 4 and secondary score of 3 are more likely
to grow and spread.
- Scores of 8 or higher refer to cancers that are likely to spread rapidly.
Is it time for a prostate exam? Visit
www.northoaks.org/prostate to request an appointment with our board-certified urologists or to learn more.