How We Stage And Grade Prostate Cancer
Staging is a measure of how large the growth of cancer cells is and how far it has spread within or outside of the prostate. This is called the TNM stage of your disease. The T stage of your disease is a measure of the tumour itself, the N stage, is an assessment of any spread of the disease to lymph nodes in your pelvis and M stage refers to any spread beyond the prostate into other organs in your body.
Staging is described as T1 to T4, using the following measures:
- T1: indicates that the prostate cancer is small and confined to the prostate gland. The cancerous cells are too small to show up on a diagnostic imaging test and during a Digital Rectal Examination , your urologist cannot feel the tumour.
- T2: your tumour is confined to the prostate, but during examination, the tumour can be felt.
- T3: your tumour has extended beyond the prostate, but has not yet fixed to other tissues.
- T4: your tumour has extended beyond the prostate and has fixed to other tissues.
Urologists also assess whether cancer has spread to surrounding pelvic lymph nodes and any degree to which the cancer has spread beyond the prostate to other organs in the body.
- N Stage disease is rated from 0 to 3, depending on the size of the cancer found in the pelvic lymph nodes, N1 being up to 2cm, to N3 being greater than 5cm.
- M Stage Disease is rated 0, M1a, M1b or M1c, depending on whether the disease has spread past the lymph nodes to the bones or other sites.
What Is Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer develops in the prostate a small gland that makes seminal fluid. It is one of the most common types of cancer in men. Prostate cancer usually grows over time and in the beginning usually stays within the prostate gland, where it may not cause serious harm. While some types of prostate cancer grow slowly and may need minimal or no treatment, other types are aggressive and can spread quickly.
Prostate cancer that is caught early has a better chance of successful treatment.
What Is Cancer Grading
After a biopsy is taken and prostate cancer is diagnosed, the grade of your cancer will be determined. This is done by examining the cancer cells under a microscope to decide how abnormal the cancer cells are. The more abnormal they are, the more likely the cancer is to be aggressive or to spread quickly outside of the prostate.
The grade of your cancer is an important piece of information for your physicians to have when deciding upon the proper treatment. The most common scale for prostate cancer grading is the Gleason score.
Don’t Miss: Where To Go For Prostate Exam
What Do The Different Gleason Scores Mean
The Gleason Score is based on how aggressive the patients prostate cancer is. The lower the number, the closer to normal the cell tissue is. Lower scores mean the cancer is more likely to be slow-growing. Anything less than 6 is considered not to be cancer.
On the other hand, a higher number means the cancer is more aggressive and more likely to spread. Heres a breakdown of what the different scores mean:
- Low Grade: Gleason Score = 6: This indicates that more than likely the cancer will be slow-growing and not very aggressive. Patients with these scores have the best prognosis.
- Intermediate Grade: Gleason Score = 7: A score of 7 means that the patient has a 50/50 chance of having aggressive prostate cancer. If the patient received a primary grade of 3 and a secondary grade of 4, more than likely the cancer will grow slowly. However, if those numbers are reversed and the primary grade was 4 and the secondary 3, the cancer may be aggressive.
- High Grade: Gleason Score = 8-10: A score of 8-10 means the cancer is aggressive and likely to grow and spread at a fast pace.
What Does It Mean If In Addition To Cancer My Biopsy Report Also Mentions Acute Inflammation Or Chronic Inflammation
Inflammation of the prostate is called prostatitis. Most cases of prostatitis reported on biopsy are not caused by infection and do not need to be treated. In some cases, inflammation may increase your PSA level, but it is not linked to prostate cancer. The finding of prostatitis on a biopsy of someone with prostate cancer does not affect their prognosis or the way the cancer is treated.
Don’t Miss: At What Age Do You Check For Prostate Cancer
Evaluation Of The Histologic Grade
Of note, this system of describing tumors as âwell-â, âmoderately-â, and âpoorly-â differentiated based on Gleason score of 2-4, 5-6, and 7-10, respectively, persists in SEER and other databases but is generally outdated. In recent years pathologists rarely assign a tumor a grade less than 3, particularly in biopsy tissue.
You May Like: Prostate Cancer Ruined My Marriage
How Is The Gleason Score Derived
The pathologist looking at the biopsy sample will assign one Gleason grade to the most predominant pattern in your biopsy and a second Gleason grade to the second most predominant pattern. For example: 3 + 4. The two grades will then be added together to determine your Gleason score. Theoretically, Gleason scores range from 2-10. However, since Dr. Gleasons original classification, pathologists almost never assign scores 2-5, and Gleason scores assigned will range from 6 to 10, with 6 being the lowest grade cancer.
Don’t Miss: Effects Of Having Prostate Removed
Gleason Score Vs Grade Groups
The International Society of Urological Pathology released a revised prostate cancer grading system in 2014. The grade group system seeks to simplify Gleason scores and give a more accurate diagnosis.
One of the major problems with the Gleason score is that some scores can be made up in different ways. For example, a score of 7 can mean:
- 3 + 4. The 3 pattern is the most common in the biopsy and 4 is the second most common. This pattern is considered favorable intermediate risk.
- 4 + 3. The 4 pattern is the most common in the biopsy and 3 is the second most common. This pattern is considered unfavorable and may mean local or metastatic spread.
So, although both situations give a Gleason score of 7, they actually have very different prognoses.
Heres an overview of how the two grading systems compare:
|grade group 5||910|
Not all hospitals have switched to the grade group system. Many hospitals give both grade group and Gleason scores to avoid confusion until grade groups become more widely used.
Tnm Staging System The Most Widely Used Staging System For Prostate Cancer Isthe Ajcc Tnm System For Prostate Cancerthere Are 4 Stages Often The Stages 1 To 4 Are Written As The Roman Numeralsi Ii Iii And Iv Generally The Higher The Stage Number The More The Cancerhas Spread The Stages Can Be Further Divided Into A B Or C An Earlier Lettermeans A Lower Stage Talk To Your Doctor If You Have Questions About Staging Tnm Staging Is Based On The Following: T Describes Thetumour And Whether Doctors Can Feel It Or See It On Imaging Tests It Alsodescribes Whether The Tumour Has Grown Outside Of The Prostate To Thesurrounding Tissues T Is Usually Given As A Number From 1 To 4 A Highernumber Means That The Tumour Takes Up More Of The Prostate Or That The Tumourhas Grown Outside Of The Prostate Into Nearby Tissues Some Stages Are Alsodivided Further Into A B Or C An Earlier Letter Means A Lower Stage The Clinical T Is Your Doctors Best Estimate Of Theextent Of The Cancer Based On A Physical Exam A Digital Rectal Exam A Prostatebiopsy And Imaging Tests If You Have Surgery To Remove Your Prostate Apathological T Will Be Given Pt Is More Accurate Than Ct T The Tumour Has Grown Outside The Prostate And Into The Seminal Vesicles T4 The Tumour Has Grown Outside The Prostate And Into Nearby Structures Suchas The Bladder Rectum Pelvic Muscles And Pelvic Wall
N describeswhether the cancer has spread to lymph nodes near the prostate. N0 means that thecancer hasnât spread to any nearby lymph nodes. N1 means that it has spread tonearby lymph nodes.
M describeswhether the cancer has spread to other parts of the body. M0 means that the cancerhas not spread to other parts of the body. M1 means that it has spread to otherparts of the body.
PSA level describes the amount of the prostate-specificantigen in the blood.
Grade Group is a measureof how likely the cancer is to grow and spread.
Read Also: How To Massage A Manâs Prostate
Don’t Miss: Psa Levels And Prostate Cancer
Relationship Of Gleason Grade To Pathologic And Clinical End Points
Increasing Gleason grade is directly related to a number of histopathological end points, including lymphvascular space invasion by carcinoma, tumor size, positive surgical margins, and pathological stage, including risk of extraprostatic extension and metastasis .
Prediction of pathologic stage by needle biopsy Gleason grade alone is possible but is not absolutely accurate for the individual patient. So, patients with lower-grade carcinomas are still at risk for having cancer spread outside the prostate, and not all patients with a high-grade carcinoma component will have carcinoma extension beyond the confines of the prostate gland. Clinically, needle biopsy Gleason grade is usually combined with other pretreatment factors, such as serum total PSA, % free PSA, local clinical T stage, and amount of tumor in needle biopsy, to predict pathologic stage. Perhaps the most commonly used data clinically are the so-called Partin tables, which combine needle biopsy Gleason grade, serum PSA, and clinical stage to provide estimates of risk for extraprostatic extension, seminal vesicle invasion, and lymph node metastasis. . Another nomogram available on the web uses biopsy Gleason grade, pretreatment PSA, clinical stage, and treatment information to calculate pathologic stage, and 5-year progression-free probability for radical prostatectomy, external beam radiation therapy, or brachytherapy.
About Dr Dan Sperling
Dan Sperling, MD, DABR, is a board certified radiologist who is globally recognized as a leader in multiparametric MRI for the detection and diagnosis of a range of disease conditions. As Medical Director of the Sperling Prostate Center, Sperling Medical Group and Sperling Neurosurgery Associates, he and his team are on the leading edge of significant change in medical practice. He is the co-author of the new patient book Redefining Prostate Cancer, and is a contributing author on over 25 published studies. For more information, contact the Sperling Prostate Center.
Search the spc blog
Recommended Reading: Is Prostate Cancer Usually Fatal
Use The Menu To See Other Pagesdoctors Use Many Tests To Find Or Diagnose Cancer
Here are 10 more facts about prostate cancer. They also do tests to le. It’s important to understand what is a. Nearly 2 million american adults each year are diagnosed with cancer. But hearing the words can still be scary. What is prostate cancer grading, and what does your gleason score mean? Grading is an important part of the evaluation of your prostate cancer. If you receive a diagnosis, your schedule can quickly start to fill up with doctor’s appointments, medical procedures and pharmacy visits. Use the menu to see other pages.doctors use many tests to find, or diagnose, cancer. Prostate cancer occurs when cells in the tissue of the prostate gland become abnormal and grow out of control. The earlier the detection of prostate cancer, the better the patient’s chance of survival is. However, as with other types of cancer,. It may grow slowly and it’s typically treatable.
Creating a checklist of things. Prostate cancer is a common type of cancer in men, according to the mayo clinic. They also do tests to le. It may grow slowly and it’s typically treatable. If you or someone you love recently had a biopsy of the prostate, you’ll notice numbers on the pathology report.
Monitoring And Treatment Decisions
In the past, men with prostate cancerregardless of whether it was aggressive or notwere almost always treated right away with a targeted therapy like surgery or radiation. However, in recent years, experts have revisited this one-size-fits-all approach to prostate cancer.
Experts now understand that low-risk prostate cancerlike Gleason 6 tumorsmay not need treatment right away. In fact, major medical associations, including the American Urological Association and the Society for Urologic Oncology, now recommend the use of active surveillance for low-risk prostate cancer.
You May Like: Is Asparagus Good For Prostate Cancer
How Is Gleason Score Reported
The biopsy results describe the Gleason score, and helps your doctor assess if you have prostate cancer and how aggressive it may be. Your doctor will also take into consideration where the biopsy samples were taken from within the prostate and whether cancer was found in just one or both sides of the prostate gland.
The following are examples of how the Gleason Score is described in doctor referral letters:
Confirmed the presence of Gleason 7within the right lobe of the prostate
Showed small volume Gleason 3+3 disease which I have recommended he proceed to
Confirmed low grade Gleason 6with staging studies showing no evidence of disease spread
Gleason 3+4=7 adenocarcinoma of the prostate
A new grading system called the Grade Group has been put in place to help patients better understand their diagnosis as the Gleason Score can be difficult to interpret. The Grade Group ranges from 1 to 5 . The table below outlines the Grade Group equivalent to the Gleason Score.
Prostate Cancer Risk Groups
In addition to stage, doctors may use other prognostic factors to help plan the best treatment and predict how successful treatment will be. Examples of these include the National Comprehensive Cancer Network risk group categories and the Cancer of the Prostate Risk Assessment risk score from University of California, San Francisco.
Information about the cancers stage and other prognostic factors will help the doctor recommend a specific treatment plan. The next section in this guide is Types of Treatment. Use the menu to choose a different section to read in this guide.
You May Like: What To Do To Avoid Prostate Cancer
What Does It Mean
A Gleason score of 6 is low grade, 7 is intermediate grade, and a score of 8 to 10 is high grade cancer.
Get More Information
Its also important to know whether any cells rated at Gleason grade 5 are present, even in just a small amount, and most pathologists will report this. Having any Gleason grade 5 in your biopsy or prostate puts you at a higher risk of recurrence.
But because many prostate cancer cases are extremely slow-growing, the Gleason system didnt necessarily do a good job of communicating the risks for these cases. Patients with scores of 6 and 7 didnt have a clear picture of the nature of their particular cancer.
Weighing Up Treatment Options
A higher Gleason score generally means that prostate cancer will grow more quickly. However, remember that the score alone does not predict your prognosis . The Gleason score is only one consideration in establishing your risk of advancing cancer, and in weighing up your treatment options.
As a general guide, treatment options for men with Gleason score 6 prostate cancers include Active Surveillance , surgery, and radiation therapy. For Gleason score 7 , treatment options are often individualised because of the different severity levels . Gleason 8 and above will need treatment and treatment options might include surgery, radiotherapy, cryosurgery, hormone therapy, chemotherapy and immunotherapy.
There are pros and cons to consider in terms of your personal experience, potential side-effects and if additional treatment is needed. Ultimately, treatment decision-making depends on your own preferences and values, in consultation with expert advice from your treating doctor.
If you are reading this article before 31st April 2021 and have recently been diagnosed with early-stage, low-risk prostate cancer, please consider joining our research trial www.navigateprostate.com.au to help navigate your treatment options. Wed love to hear from you! | 8559 7453Need questions answered now?
You May Like: Can Your Prostate Grow Back After Surgery
Gleason Score And The Progress After Surgery
In a recent research study, the severity of disease was assessed after surgical removal of the prostate in 1,251 prostate cancer patients of the ones who were initially classified as having a low-risk disease based on a biopsy and had gone through surgery. Of these men, 31% found to have a more severe form of prostate cancer and this was indicated by the Gleason score.
Also, to note is the necessity for careful active surveillance and assessing as the low-risk disease progresses. This category accounts for many of the men who end up dying of the disease. Men with prostate volumes in the 25th percentile were 50% more likely to be upgraded to more aggressive disease and men with smaller prostates were more likely to have a higher Gleason score after surgery.
How Is The Gleason Score Measured
The Gleason score is a measure of how aggressive your tumour is. Cancer cells within the prostate are very varied, so the pathologist takes the most common type of cell in your tumour and the second most common type of cell in your tumour to make an assessment. Each cell is given a score, ranging from 1 for the least aggressive, to 5 for the most aggressive. The two scores are then added together to provide your personal Gleason score.
Also Check: Is Testicular Cancer The Same As Prostate Cancer
Grade And Risk Category
The biopsy results will show the grade of the cancer. This is a score that describes how quickly the cancer may grow or spread.
For many years, the Gleason scoring system has been used to grade the tissue taken during a biopsy. If you have prostate cancer, youll have a Gleason score between 6 and 10. A new system has been introduced to replace the Gleason system. Known as the International Society of Urological Pathologists Grade Group system, this grades prostate cancer from 1 to 5 .
Risk of progression
Based on the stage, grade and your PSA level before the biopsy, localised prostate cancer will be classified as having a low, intermediate or high risk of growing and spreading. This is known as the risk of progression. The risk category helps guide management and treatment.
Grading prostate cancer
|High risk. The cancer is likely to grow aggressive.|