Prostate biopsies are performed when results from initial tests, like a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test or digital rectal exam, indicate the possibility of prostate cancer. A range of tissue samples are extracted with a needle from the prostate gland and are analyzed under a microscope to identify cancerous cell abnormalities. If cancer is present, it can be localized to the exact region of the prostate from the location of the tissue extraction.
Patients with PSA levels outside of the normal range or with concerning findings during a digital rectal exam.
Pathologists grade prostate cancers according to the Gleason Score or Grading System, with a grading scale of 1 to 5.
- Grade 1: Glands have well differentiated features.
- Grades 2 to 4: Glands have intermediate features. Most cancers have intermediate features.
- Grade 5: Glands are poorly differentiated and spread haphazardly as sheets or individually invasive cells through the prostate.
PIN-4 can be ordered to help the pathologist to distinguish carcinoma types.
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