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NCCN Guidelines for Patients


Prostate Cancer, Version 1.2016


Cancer staging

Gleason score

Gleason score

The grading system for prostate cancer is called the

Gleason score. The Gleason score is used by doctors

to plan treatment. Results from the prostate MRI,

biopsy, or both are used for scoring.

First, the cancer is assigned two Gleason grades. The

primary grade is the most common Gleason pattern.

The secondary grade is the second most common

Gleason pattern.

Gleason grades are depicted in

Figure 5

. Glands

comprised of cells with a grade of 1 or 2 can’t be

scored on a prostate biopsy. Therefore, Gleason

grades range from 3 for glands made of cancer cells

that look almost normal to 5 for very abnormal cells

that aren’t able to form glands.

The primary and secondary grades are added

together to get the Gleason score. Gleason scores

range from 2 to 10, but most prostate cancers are

scored 6 to 10.

Chart 1

briefly describes what the

scores mean. Higher Gleason scores mean the

cancer is more likely to grow and spread.