A Gleason Score comes into the pathology read of a man’s biopsy once he has decided to undergo a biopsy. The pathologist will look at the slides and they will look at, if you will, the amount of disorganization of the cells they are looking at, and they are assigned values of 1 through 5, 1 being the least disorganized, 5 being the most disorganized cell if you will, and that is characterizing the cancer of the cell, if you will. So therefore Gleason Scores, if you hear a man has a Gleason Score of 5 it could be made up of a 3 and a 2, or a 2 and a 3. Now let me explain that. They will take a look at the most voluminous cells, and if there are more 3s, they assign the 3 first, then if the second most voluminous cells in disorganization are 2s, they will assign a 2, giving you a Gleason Score of 5, a 3 + 2. That is why I explained in my Gleason Score of 7, my 4 + 3 indicated more aggressiveness than a 3 + 4.
Of course, more information on Gleason Scores and biopsies and treatment options are all available at the Prostate Cancer Foundation’s website, www.PCF.org.