Dr. Kenyon Meadows, board-certified radiation oncologist with Southeast Georgia Health System
Cancer Care Centers, and I’d like to take a few minutes today to discuss Gleason scores.
Once a diagnosis of prostate cancer is established, one of the most important
pieces of information to consider is your Gleason score. The Gleason is
a number score ranging from six to 10, and it’s used to measure
the aggressiveness of your prostate cancer. Your doctor will consider
this score, along with other factors, to help assign you into the appropriate
risk category. This has a significant impact on what treatment options
will be recommended for you.
To be included in the low-risk category, your Gleason score must be a six.
Fortunately, the majority of men diagnosed with prostate cancer in the
United States fall into this category, and they experience a very high
cure rate with a single treatment approach of either surgery or radiation.
High risk patients have a Gleason score of 8 to 10 and generally require
a combination of two forms of treatment, such as radiation along with
powerful hormone medicines, in order to have an optimal outcome.
Intermediate risk patients have a Gleason score of 7 and can be treated
similarly to either low-risk or high risk patients depending on other
factors, such as their PSA level. The PSA is a blood test that can reliably
indicate how much prostate cancer is in the body.
It's important for you to have a detailed, informed discussion with
your physician, and I hope this brief overview will help you begin that
If you have further questions or comments, please submit them in the comment
box below. Thanks.