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Prostate Cancer
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Prostate Cancer Gleason Score

The Gleason grading system produces the Gleason score, which is a helpful tool in classifying the stage and grade of prostate cancer. From the tissue extracted in the biopsy, a doctor judges the cells. If the cancerous cells look very similar to the healthy cells, the cancerous cells are called well-differentiated. If the cancerous cells are very different from the healthy cells, however, they are called poorly differentiated.

The pathologist studies the patterns of cancerous cells underneath a microscope. Based on the most common pattern of differentiation, the pathologist will assign a number 1 through 5. Then based on the second most common pattern of cell differentiation, the pathologist assigns a second number of 1 through 5. The sum of these two numbers is your Gleason score. Your Gleason score can range from 2 through 10. Most of the prostate cancer cases diagnosed today have Gleason grades of 5, 6, or 7. The more aggressive forms of prostate cancer have scores of 8, 9, or 10. Prostate cancer cases with a Gleason score below 4 are very rare, as they usually do not warrant the biopsy in the first place.



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