What is a Gleason Score?

Expert Opinion published on January 13, 2012 in Diagnosis & Screening
Download Audio Download Transcript
Dan Zenka, APR
Senior Vice President, Communications
The Prostate Cancer Foundation
Prostate Cancer Patient and Advocate
What is a Gleason Score?

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.

Last modified: February 7, 2012
Related Items by Category
What does staging for prostate cancer mean and what is the impact that stage has on my treatment?
Tomasz Beer, MD
Expert Opinion published on June 28, 2013 in Diagnosis & Screening
Why is there so much confusion around PSA screening? Shouldn’t I be screened?
Dan Zenka, APR
Expert Opinion published on January 13, 2012 in Diagnosis & Screening
Related Items by Author
I’ve heard that men are likely to die with prostate cancer rather than from it. Is that true?
Dan Zenka, APR
Expert Opinion published on January 13, 2012 in Basic facts
Isn’t prostate cancer an old man’s disease?
Dan Zenka, APR
Expert Opinion published on January 13, 2012 in Basic facts
What are the symptoms of prostate cancer?
Dan Zenka, APR
Expert Opinion published on January 13, 2012 in Symptoms
Why is there so much confusion around PSA screening? Shouldn’t I be screened?
Dan Zenka, APR
Expert Opinion published on January 13, 2012 in Diagnosis & Screening
If I am diagnosed with prostate cancer, what do I do?
Dan Zenka, APR
Expert Opinion published on January 13, 2012 in Treatment