Fast Five Quiz: Do You Know the Current Guidelines for the Screening and Treatment of Prostate Cancer?

Tan Winston, MD


July 24, 2014

The Gleason grading system is used to help determine prognosis in prostate cancer. It is based on histologic evaluation of tumor biopsy specimens.

Grades are based on the extent to which the epithelium has a normal glandular structure. Grades progress from less malignant to more malignant; a grade of 1 indicates a near-normal pattern, and a grade of 5 indicates the absence of any glandular pattern. The predominant pattern and the second most common pattern are given grades from 1 to 5. The sum of these 2 grades is referred to as the Gleason score.

The significance of the Gleason score is as follows:

  • A score of 2-6 indicates a low-grade or well-differentiated tumor

  • A score of 7 indicates a moderate-grade or moderately differentiated tumor

  • A score of 8-10 indicates a high-grade or poorly differentiated tumor

For more on the use of the Gleason score in prostate cancer, read here.


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