Prostate cancer affects the prostate glands in men. The gland is situated below the bladder and its main function is in the production of the seminal fluid that is an important element in the men’s reproduction organ. It is highly recommended for men of the age of 50 years and above to go for medical tests that will determine the status of the prostate glands. When you schedule an appointment the doctor will undertake two types of tests, first is the digital rectum examination which is done by the doctor physically examining the prostate gland to check for any changes in size and shape.
This is because in the initial stages when one is developing the cancer, it may not be easy to experience the signs of the disease and it may be easy for it to go undetected. The second test is the doctor will recommend a biopsy test procedure to be done and the results are reported using a grading system known as Gleason Score. This system was named after its developer called Donald Gleason an American Pathologist. The score is made up of five grading system which is measured on a scale of 1 to 5.
The Grading System: This will show the level of cancerous cells in and around the prostate glands. At Stage 1 of prostate cancer the gland is still small, well formed and neatly packaged. When the Gleason score is done on a sample it will measure at grade 1. Stage 2 the cancerous cells are still limited to the prostate glands even though it has grown in size, the score will indicate grade 2 on the score grading. Stage 3 is when the cancerous cells are growing so fast although they have not spread to the surrounding organs like kidneys, they have only affected the seminal gland which stores the semen.
The Gleason score will be grade 3 and this is the most common grade because many men are usually found with prostate cancer at this stage because the symptoms will have begun to manifest. When prostate cancer reaches stage 4 it has now fully developed and reached the surrounding organs, this is a critical stage and the survival rate is very minimal. The score will show a grade 4 on the Gleason score. At this stage the doctor will have to put you on the best treatments based on the progression of the disease. Grade 5 score indicates that there are no cancerous cells in the glands.
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