What Does It Mean If In Addition To Cancer My Biopsy Report Also Says Acute Inflammation Or Chronic Inflammation
Inflammation of the prostate is called prostatitis. Most cases of prostatitis reported on a biopsy are not caused by infection and do not need to be treated. In some cases, inflammation may increase you PSA level, but it is not linked to prostate cancer. The finding of prostatitis on a biopsy of someone with cancer does not affect their prognosis or the way the cancer is treated.
Understanding Prostate Cancer: The Gleason Scale
Knowing the numbers
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with prostate cancer, you may already be familiar with the Gleason scale. It was developed by physician Donald Gleason in the 1960s. It provides a score that helps predict the aggressiveness of prostate cancer.
A pathologist begins by examining tissue samples from a prostate biopsy under a microscope. To determine the Gleason score, the pathologist compares the cancer tissue pattern with normal tissue.
According to the
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.
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What Does It Mean To Have A Gleason Score Of 6 7 8 Or 9
Because grades 1 and 2 are not often used for biopsies, the lowest Gleason score of a cancer found on a prostate biopsy is 6. These cancers may be called well differentiated or low-grade and are likely to be less aggressive that is, they tend to grow and spread slowly.
Cancers with Gleason scores of 8 to 10 may be called poorly differentiated or high-grade. These cancers are likely to grow and spread more quickly, although a cancer with a Gleason score of 9-10 is twice as likely to grow and spread quickly as a cancer with a Gleason score of 8.
Cancers with a Gleason score of 7 can either be Gleason score 3+4=7 or Gleason score 4+3=7:
- Gleason score 3+4=7 tumors still have a good prognosis , although not as good as a Gleason score 6 tumor.
- A Gleason score 4+3=7 tumor is more likely to grow and spread than a 3+4=7 tumor, yet not as likely as a Gleason score 8 tumor.
What Does It Mean If My Biopsy Report Also Mentions Atrophy Adenosis Or Atypical Adenomatous Hyperplasia
All of these are terms for things the pathologist might see under the microscope that are benign , but that sometimes can look like cancer.
Atrophy is a term used to describe shrinkage of prostate tissue . When it affects the entire prostate gland it is called diffuse atrophy. This is most often caused by hormones or radiation therapy to the prostate. When atrophy only affects certain areas of the prostate, it is called focal atrophy. Focal atrophy can sometimes look like prostate cancer under the microscope.
Atypical adenomatous hyperplasia is another benign condition that can sometimes be seen on a prostate biopsy.
Finding any of these is not important if prostate cancer is also present.
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Overview Of Pathologists Annotations And Reviews
A total of 35 pathologists reviewed slides for this study, all of whom completed residency in human anatomical pathology. Twenty-nine pathologists were US-board-certified and another three had genitourinary specialization . The remaining three pathologists were formerly board-certified or certified outside of North America, and provided annotations for the training and tuning datasets but not the validation dataset.
We collected slide-level reviews and region-level annotations from pathologists. Slide-level reviews categorize each slide into its Gleason Grade Group. Region-level annotations label specific tissue regions within a slide. We describe the annotation protocol for the validation dataset here, and include additional details and the protocol for the training and tuning datasets in the Grading section and Supplementary Figure in the Supplement.
Do You Have A Digital Database Of All The Men Youve Treated
Having access to valuable data of previous prostate cancer patients provides a helpful resource to physicians and patients seeking treatment. Our clinics computerized prostate cancer database has medical information from more than 16,000 men we have treated over the past 30 years. From pretreatment information like biopsy reports, including Gleason scores, PSA, disease stage, etc., to radiation doses and after-treatment follow-ups, the database allows us to analyze a mans particular case of cancer and calculate the chance of cure. The value of this database is incredible because it serves as the key to the prostate cancer program.
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Initial Treatment Of Prostate Cancer By Stage
The stage of your cancer is one of the most important factors in choosing the best way to treat it. Prostate cancer is staged based on the extent of the cancer and the PSA level and Gleason score when it is first diagnosed.
For prostate cancers that havent spread , doctors also use risk groups to help determine treatment options. Risk groups range from very low risk to very high risk, with lower risk group cancers having a smaller chance of growing and spreading compared to those in higher risk groups.
Other factors, such as your age, overall health, life expectancy, and personal preferences are also taken into account when looking at treatment options. In fact, many doctors determine a mans possible treatment options based not just on the stage, but on the risk of cancer coming back after the initial treatment and on the mans life expectancy.
You might want to ask your doctor what factors he or she is considering when discussing your treatment options. Some doctors might recommend options that are different from those listed here.
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What Are Grade Groups
Grade Groups are a new way to grade prostate cancer to address some of the issues with the Gleason grading system.
As noted above, currently in practice the lowest Gleason score that is given is a 6, despite the Gleason grades ranging in theory from 2 to 10. This understandably leads some patients to think that their cancer on biopsy is in the middle of the grade scale. This can compound their worry about their diagnosis and make them more likely to feel that they need to be treated right away.
Another problem with the Gleason grading system is that the Gleason scores are often divided into only 3 groups . This is not accurate, since Gleason score 7 is made up of two grades , with the latter having a much worse prognosis. Similarly, Gleason scores of 9 or 10 have a worse prognosis than Gleason score 8.
To account for these differences, the Grade Groups range from 1 to 5 :
- Grade Group 1 = Gleason 6
- Grade Group 2 = Gleason 3+4=7
- Grade Group 3 = Gleason 4+3=7
- Grade Group 4 = Gleason 8
- Grade Group 5 = Gleason 9-10
Although eventually the Grade Group system may replace the Gleason system, the two systems are currently reported side-by-side.
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A Roundtable Discussion With Brian F Chapin Md Jonathan I Epstein Md And Maha Hussain Md Facp Fasco
Physician-Patient Communication Oncologist counsels patient about options for treatment of prostate cancer. Photo courtesy of Thinkstock.
Prior to ASCOs 2016 endorsement of the Cancer Care Ontario guideline on active surveillance in the management of localized prostate cancer,1 most menover 90%diagnosed with low-risk localized disease were treated with active therapy.2 Today, about 50% of American men with low-risk disease opt for active surveillance instead of therapy. In Sweden, nearly 80% of men with low-risk prostate cancer undergo surveillance rather than treatment.3
This year, approximately 165,000 men in the United States will be diagnosed with prostate cancer,4 and half of those men will have low-risk tumors that pathologists rate as Gleason 6 disease. Changes to the Gleason score grading system in 2014 by the International Society of Urological Pathology classified Gleason 6 as grade 1, putting the cancer in the very lowrisk category.
Strong evidence suggests that Gleason 6 disease, when not associated with higher-grade cancer, almost never develops into aggressive cancer requiring treatment. Thus, many patients with Gleason 6 cancer are able to sidestep therapy, such as surgery and radiation therapy, and its attendant side effects, including sexual, urinary, and bowel dysfunction, for active surveillance, which is increasingly being adopted as the standard of care for men with a Gleason 6 score.
Defining Gleason 6 Cancer
Managing Localized Prostate Cancer
Treatment Options Under Clinical Evaluation
Treatment options under clinical evaluation for patients with prostate cancer include the following:
Cryosurgery, or cryotherapy, is under evaluation for the treatment of localized prostate cancer. It is a surgical technique that involves destruction of prostate cancer cells by intermittent freezing of the prostate with cryoprobes, followed by thawing. There is limited evidence regarding its efficacy and safety compared with standard prostatectomy and radiation therapy, and the technique is evolving in an attempt to reduce local toxicity and normal tissue damage. The quality of evidence on efficacy is low, currently limited to case series of relatively small size, short follow-up, and surrogate outcomes of efficacy.
Serious toxic effects associated with cryosurgery include bladder outlet injury, urinary incontinence, sexual impotence, and rectal injury. Impotence is common, ranging from about 47% to 100%.
The frequency of other side effects and the probability of cancer control at 5 years follow-up have varied among reporting centers, and series are small compared with surgery and radiation therapy. Other major complications include urethral sloughing, urinary fistula or stricture, and bladder neck obstruction.
Vascular-targeted photodynamic therapy using a photosensitizing agent has been tested in men with low-risk prostate cancer.
Neoadjuvant hormonal therapy
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Active Surveillance Testing Schedule
Medical experts offer various recommendations regarding frequency of testing and when to start treatment during active surveillance. The American Society of Clinical Oncology recommends the following periodic evaluations while under active surveillance for prostate cancer:
PSA testing every three to six months
A digital rectal exam at least once a year
A prostate biopsy at least every two to five years
If test results or symptoms indicate the cancer is progressing, treatment is recommended with the intention of curing the disease.
The Sum Of Two Numbers
The pathologist assigns two separate grades to the two predominant cancer cell patterns in the prostate tissue sample. They determine the first number by observing the area where the prostate cancer cells are most prominent. The second number, or secondary grade, relates to the area where the cells are almost as prominent.
These two numbers added together produce the total Gleason score, which is a number between 2 and 10. A higher score means the cancer is more likely to spread.
When you discuss your Gleason score with your doctor, ask about both the primary and secondary grade numbers. A Gleason score of 7 can be derived from differing primary and secondary grades, for example 3 and 4, or 4 and 3. This can be significant because a primary grade of 3 indicates that the predominant cancer area is less aggressive than the secondary area. The reverse is true if the score results from a primary grade of 4 and secondary grade of 3.
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Prostate Cancer: Stages Grades And Treatment
Cancer stage refers to the size of the tumor and whether or not it has spread to other parts of the body prostate cancer is staged using the TNM system. Cancer grade refers to how quickly the cancer cells will grow and spread prostate cancer is graded using the Gleason score. Treatment of prostate cancer is based on a combination of age, life expectancy, and personal preferences, in addition to cancer grade and stage. In general, the higher the grade or stage, the more likely it is that the cancer will spread.
What The Numbers Mean
The pathologist who examines the cellstaken during your biopsywill look at their patterning in the samples. Each area is graded on a scale of 1 to 5, and the two numbers are added together to get the Gleason score.
If a Gleason score is written in your pathology report as 3+4=7, this means most of your tumor is grade 3 and less of it is grade 4. These numbers are then added together for a total Gleason score of 7.
Grades 1 and 2 are not usually used to describe cancer these grades are for tissue that almost looks normal and isn’t considered cancerous. The lowest possible Gleason score of a cancer found in a prostate biopsy is 6cancer with the least risk of spreading quickly. The highest score is 10cancer with the most risk of being aggressive.
Because a scoring system that starts with the number 6 can be confusing, recently the Gleason Grade Grouping were introduced. This group number is based on the numbers used to create a samples Gleason score, but start with 1 instead of 6 and range from 1 to 5 .
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What Does It Mean If My Biopsy Report Mentions The Word Core
The most common type of prostate biopsy is a core needle biopsy. For this procedure, the doctor inserts a thin, hollow needle into the prostate gland. When the needle is pulled out it removes a small cylinder of prostate tissue called a core. This is often repeated several times to sample different areas of the prostate.
Your pathology report will list each core separately by a number assigned to it by the pathologist, with each core having its own diagnosis. If cancer or some other problem is found, it is often not in every core, so you need to look at the diagnoses for all of the cores to know what is going on with you.
The Ajcc Tnm Staging System
A staging system is a standard way for the cancer care team to describe how far a cancer has spread. The most widely used staging system for prostate cancer is the AJCC TNM system, which was most recently updated in 2018.
The TNM system for prostate cancer is based on 5 key pieces of information:
- The extent of the main tumor *
- Whether the cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes
- Whether the cancer has spread to other parts of the body
- The PSA level at the time of diagnosis
- The Grade Group , which is a measure of how likely the cancer is to grow and spread quickly. This is determined by the results of the prostate biopsy .
*There are 2 types of T categories for prostate cancer:
- The clinical T category is your doctors best estimate of the extent of your disease, based on the results of the physical exam and prostate biopsy, and any imaging tests you have had.
- If you have surgery to remove your prostate, your doctors can also determine the pathologic T category . The pathologic T is likely to be more accurate than the clinical T, as it is done after all of your prostate has been examined in the lab.
Numbers or letters after T, N, and M provide more details about each of these factors. Higher numbers mean the cancer is more advanced. Once the T, N, and M categories have been determined, this information is combined in a process called stage grouping to get the overall stage of the cancer.
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How Do Doctors Find Out Your Grade Group
The pathologist grades each sample of prostate cancer cells from 3 to 5 based on how quickly they are likely to grow or how aggressive the cells look. You may hear this score being called the Gleason grade.
Doctors then work out an overall Gleason score by adding together the 2 most common Gleason grades. So for example, if the most common Gleason grade is 3, and the second most common is 4, then the overall Gleason score is 7. Or they might write the scores separately as 3 + 4 = 7. This combined score is now called the Grade Group.
There are 5 Grade Groups. Grade Group 1 is the least aggressive and Grade Group 5 is the most aggressive.
This is how the Gleason score and Grade Groups match up and what it means:
Gleason Score For Grading Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer is also given a grade called a Gleason score. This score is based on how much the cancer looks like healthy tissue when viewed under a microscope. Less aggressive tumors generally look more like healthy tissue. Tumors that are more aggressive are likely to grow and spread to other parts of the body. They look less like healthy tissue.
The Gleason scoring system is the most common prostate cancer grading system used. The pathologist looks at how the cancer cells are arranged in the prostate and assigns a score on a scale of 3 to 5 from 2 different locations. Cancer cells that look similar to healthy cells receive a low score. Cancer cells that look less like healthy cells or look more aggressive receive a higher score. To assign the numbers, the pathologist determines the main pattern of cell growth, which is the area where the cancer is most obvious, and then looks for another area of growth. The doctor then gives each area a score from 3 to 5. The scores are added together to come up with an overall score between 6 and 10.
Gleason scores of 5 or lower are not used. The lowest Gleason score is 6, which is a low-grade cancer. A Gleason score of 7 is a medium-grade cancer, and a score of 8, 9, or 10 is a high-grade cancer. A lower-grade cancer grows more slowly and is less likely to spread than a high-grade cancer.
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