Prostate Cancer: The Gleason Score

The Gleason score is the sum of two numbers that represent the most common and the second most common types of cancer cells found on the biopsy specimen. Because the first number represents the most common type of cancer cell, it is considered more important than the second number. For example a Gleason score of 4+3 = 7 is considered more aggressive than one of 3+4 = 7. Generally the higher the Gleason score, the more aggressive the cancer and the higher the risk for spread.

  • Gleason scores of 6 or less are low grade and lower risk
  • Gleason score of 7 indicates moderate risk
  • Gleason 8-10 indicate high risk and more aggressive disease