Tuesday, March 17, 2009

By Darren R Sturridge
The prostate is an organ located close to the bladder in men. Unfortunately it is very susceptible to genetic damage with age and many men will develop prostate cancer in their lifetime.

It is recommended that all men above the age of 40 are tested for the condition every 5 years, and tested once a year from the age of 50. The initial tests usually take the form of prostate specific antigen testing and a procedure known as a digital rectum examination. If the doctor feels that there is any likelihood that the patient has cancer then he will recommend a biopsy. A specialist will take a look at the biopsy samples under a microscope and report the results to a doctor using a system known as Gleason grading.

The specialist will give a grade of between one and five to each sample depending upon how advanced the cancer is. A Gleason grade of one indicates that the cells in the tissue look close to normal, whereas a grade of five indicates very abnormal cancerous cells are seen.

As it is a multi focal condition it is usual to take 12 samples during a prostate biopsy. The specialist will look at all of these and report the results of the two samples with the largest areas of cancerous cells. He will give the results in a form of a Gleason Score, which is made up of two grades as determined in the method outlined above. The results are given with the sample with the largest area of cancer first, and a total. For example Gleason score 3 + 2 = 5, is more advanced than 2 + 3 = 5.

If a person is found to be suffering from prostate cancer then there are many ways in which the condition can be treated, if it is treated at all. As it is slow growing it is often the case that the patient will die of other things first and so the condition will be monitored as opposed to treated. If treatment is required then it is good to know that many methods such as radiation and hormonal therapy are often very successful.

My name is Dean, I am a developmental biologist and owner of the prostate cancer guide. In it you will find useful advice on the condition such as Prostate Biopsy and the Gleason Scale

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Darren_R_Sturridge


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