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A cancer diagnosis is scary, no doubt about it. You’ve had your MRI, your biopsy results are in, and your head is probably spinning.
First of all, know that we’ve got your back. Dr. Rich Bevan-Thomas will sit down with you and discuss your specifics of Prostate Cancer in detail. But for now, here’s what you need to know
With cancer, there is always reason for concern. But the good news is that not all prostate tumors require aggressive treatment. One in every nine men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime, but some are very slow-growing and take years to develop to a level that requires treatment.
What’s more, because of better screening and treatment options, survival rates are much better than they used to be. These days, 99% of men with prostate cancer tx survive at least five years after diagnosis. And many men are cured completely.
Your prognosis will depend on the grade and stage of your cancer and the treatment options you choose.
Grading and staging can seem pretty complicated, but simply put, grading determines how aggressive your cancer is under the microscope, and staging is how far the cancer has spread in your body.
The lowest score is (3+3), and the highest is (5+5). For example, a score of (3+5) means that there were two different grades of cancer in that specimen on that spot on the prostate. The first number on the score, i.e. (3+5), means that Gleason 3 was found, and Gleason 5 cancer was also found. But there were fewer Gleason 5 cells than Gleason 3 (thus it is placed second in the parentheses). Because a biopsy samples tissue from several locations on your prostate, you can have a (3+4) and a (4+3) on different specimens from the same biopsy.
These numbers add up to a total score. Gleason 3+5=8 means your Gleason score (combined Gleason grades) is 8. Your score will help to determine if you need further imaging studies, such as a bone scan. A bone scan will show if the cancer has spread beyond your pelvis. Dr. Rich Bevan-Thomas also uses the prostate MRI routinely as this is the most helpful imaging study to evaluate whether the cancer has spread outside of the prostate or potentially into the local lymph nodes.
Your Gleason score also determines your risk category according to National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) guidelines.
From here, Gleason scores have grade groups which differentiate the risk between the different numbers. So a Gleason score 7 (4+3) is in a higher-grade group than a Gleason 7 (3+4) because there are more higher-grade cells in the (4+3) sample, and those cells have a higher risk of growing faster and beyond the prostate.
Dr. Rich Bevan-Thomas (Urology Partners) knows that a cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming. As a prostate cancer treatment specialist, he has the experience and the commitment to help you sort through the confusion and make the best decisions to preserve your health and quality of life.