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March 20, 2008

The Connection Between Gleason Scores and Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer found in American men, other than skin cancer, with an estimated 218,890 discovered cases in the United States during 2007 alone. If you or someone you know is diagnosed, understanding the relationship between Gleason scores and prostate cancer can help you comprehend the prognosis and decide on the best treatment options.

A Gleason score is the near-standard rating that pathologists use to grade the severity of prostate cancer. After taking a biopsy or a small piece of the cancerous prostate, a Gleason grade, ranging from from 1 to 5, is assigned to a patient's cancer after examining how closely cells contained in the cancerous tissue resemble normal prostate tissue cells.

Cancerous cells that closely resemble normal prostate tissue receive a Gleason score of 1. If the cancer cells differ significantly from normal cells -- that is, they seem to appear randomly throughout the prostate -- they will be given a grade 5 in the Gleason system. Gleason scores of 2 through 4 have varying degrees of similarity to cancer cells.

Prostate cancers frequently show up in several areas, each with a different Gleason grade. If the cancer affects the majority of two areas, for example, the two grades are combined for a cumulative Gleason score. This also called the Gleason sum, which ranges between 2 and 10.

The higher the Gleason score, the more likely it is that the cancer will grow and spread quickly, which is why overcoming prostate cancer is largely attributed to early discovery, as well as understanding the warning signs, symptoms and risks.

http://prostatehealth-101.com is a website devoted to giving you the very best information regarding prostate cancer. Whether you're wondering about the correlation between gleason scores and prostate cancer, or you want to learn about natural treatments for prostate cancer, we've got you covered!

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