The Gleason grading system was created in 1966 by pathologist Dr. Donald Gleason. The grading system is used determine the severity and best treatment options of prostate cancer. A urologist will gather several prostate tissue samples for analysis by performing a biopsy. The samples are then examined under a microscope to ascertain where the cancer is most prominent (the primary grade) (the secondary grade)
The Gleason score is essentially the total of both primary and secondary grades given to the samples taken. In addition to your score, other variables considered are your age, overall health, current PSA level.
Scores are ranked as follows:
Score of 2 to 4 indicates mildly aggressive cancer
Score of 5 to 6 indicates moderately aggressive cancer ( 7 if the score is the sum of 3+4)
Score of 8 to 10 indicates highly aggressive cancer ( 7 if the score is the sum of 4+3)
Remember, when speaking to your doctor about your Gleason score inquire about your primary and secondary numbers to help you you assess your cancer risk level.