Gleason Scale for Prostate Cancer

Using the prostate cancer gleason score, diagnosis and staging is no longer a new practice in the management and treatment of the disease; as a matter of fact, it is today used in some measure as a standard for making several decisions concerning the status of the patient, and their treatment requirements.

The Gleason system is important in this process because there is little medical tolerance for mistakes in prostate cancer treatment when the life of a person is at risk. It is a fact after all that prostate cancer claims up to thirty percent of the lives of those it inflicts, which is lessening in recent times, but which is by no means a joke. The Gleason scale grades the prostate tumors from 2 to 10, where a score of 10 indicates the most abnormalities in the tumors, and a score of two indicates a relatively benign condition. These numerical values are referred to as the Gleason grading of prostate cancer or the gleason score of the patient. It is critical to achieve proper grading of the tumor because this is part of what constitutes the major factors that determine the treatment recommendation.

The most common patterns that are encountered when a prostate tumor is examined underneath the scrutiny of a microscope are often the ones that get assigned numbers between 1 and 5. The same is done also for the second most common pattern; and when the two numbers are summed up together, they add up to the Gleason score.

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A similar grading or staging technique for prostate cancers, but altogether different, is the Whitmore-Jewett stage.

Usually, the doctor believes the best treatment for early stage prostate cancer in a patient that is well advanced in years is active surveillance, which refers to observation and regular monitoring without any form of invasive treatment of the disorder, especially when the tumors are believed to be slow-growing prostate cancer. If the condition is believed to be slightly worse than that without warranting the risks of surgery, radiation therapy, hormonal therapy, or chemo, the doctor may recommend watchful waiting, a system in which the patient forgoes surgery but is closely monitored to see if his condition takes a downturn. This is usually administered to patients who are over the age of seventy, but also if the Gleason score of their condition is low enough after observation under the microscope.

Should there suddenly be a marked increase in the Gleason score of the patient after a later biopsy is carried out, usually after fresh symptoms start to develop, or if the cancer growth is accelerating, the patient may need to begin treatment shortly after, usually within three years. Again, based on the score, the treatment administered may or may not be totalitarian based on the doctor’s beliefs, and based on the beliefs of the patient. If you are concerned about things that could happen to you during the course of your prostate cancer treatment, at the very least, you want to know if your Gleason score corresponds to the treatment your doctor is recommending. If you want to know about prostate cancer gleason grade stage IV bone Mets, see the related articles for more specific information.

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