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Cancer Treatment Centers of America

Prostate cancer Gleason score

Making an educated treatment decision begins with the stage, or progression, of the disease. Using the results from your diagnostic tests, your care team at Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) will develop an appropriate treatment plan for you.

If you have been recently diagnosed, we will review your pathology to confirm you have received the correct diagnosis and staging information, and develop a personalized treatment plan. If you have a recurrence, we will perform comprehensive testing and identify a treatment approach that is suited to your needs.

If you undergo a prostate cancer biopsy, your CTCA doctor will examine the tissues to learn more about the cancer cells. Some cancers may be more aggressive than others, and this information plays an important role in decisions about your treatment.

Gleason score

Your doctor will assign a Gleason score to the disease based upon its microscopic appearance. Cancer with a higher Gleason score is more aggressive.

  • Grade 1: The cancerous prostate closely resembles normal prostate tissues. The glands are small, well-formed and closely packed.
  • Grade 2: The tissue still has well-formed glands, but they are larger and have more tissue between them.
  • Grade 3: The tissue still has recognizable glands, but the cells are darker. At high magnification, some of the cells have left the glands and are beginning to invade surrounding tissue.
  • Grade 4: The tissue has few recognizable glands. Many cells are invading the surrounding tissue.
  • Grade 5: The tissue does not have recognizable glands. There are often just sheets of cells throughout the surrounding tissue.

Together with other diagnostic tests, the Gleason score is incorporated into a strategy of prostate cancer staging, which helps guide therapy.

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Last Revised: 02/23/2017

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