Q:

What information does a Gleason score provide regarding prostate cancer?

A:

Quick Answer

The Gleason score is used to determine the severity of prostate cancer after a biopsy. A biopsy involves taking a tissue from the affected area and sending to the laboratory for a test. The results of the test are usually given using the Gleason score, as stated by WebMD.

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Full Answer

The Gleason test assigns a score of 2 to 10 that helps to show the appearance of the cells when viewed under the microscope. A value of 2 to 4 indicates that the cells still look like normal body cells and the risk of spreading is still low. A score of 5 to 7 means that the risk is transitional, while a score of 8 to 10 indicates that the cells are no longer resembling the normal cells and the condition is likely to worsen. These results help to the doctor to determine the condition of the prostate.

During a laboratory test, the doctor identifies the two of the most common tumor patterns. Each of the patterns is assigned a grade of 1 to 5, which are later combined to generate the Gleason score. The score is generated by adding the grades of both patterns. A serious prostate cancer is likely to have a combined score of 8 or higher.

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