Understanding Your Results
The result of your prostate biopsy usually comes out within 10 days after
your procedure. When you receive your results, you may find it hard to
decipher. Prostate biopsy reports are typically not prepared uniformly
and may vary depending on hospital or clinic protocols. It may also contain
different medical jargons that are unfamiliar to you. Your doctor can
fully explain the findings in your prostate biopsy report, but you may
want to review the results yourself. We list some terms and definitions
that you may find helpful when reading your biopsy result.
Findings You May Encounter in Your Prostate Biopsy Result
Normal – This finding may put you in the clear, but your doctor may still
require you to monitor your PSA levels regularly.
Atypical finding – This means that the findings are suspicious but cannot be confirmed.
You may be subjected to additional tests or repeat biopsy.
High-grade PIN – This is the pre-cancer stage. While findings are not definitive,
a high-grade PIN usually equates to increased risk of developing cancer.
Prostate cancer or adenocarcinoma – When your result confirms cancer, your doctor can explain the
progression of cancer cells including treatment plans.
If your biopsy report finds prostate cancer cells, a Gleason score will
be given to understand the progression of your cancer which can help your
doctor decide your treatment plan.
The Gleason Score
The Gleason score is the numerical value given to prostate cancer cells
to determine how fast-growing they are. The higher the number, the more
aggressive the cancer is.
Gleason score assessments are as follow:
Lower risk – Gleason score of two to four
Moderate risk – Gleason score of five to six
Higher risk – Gleason score of seven to 10
Your doctor can thoroughly discuss this with you and may ask you to undergo
additional tests to determine a course of treatment.
What Are Your Next Steps?
Your next steps depend on your findings. If the findings turn out to be
normal, you may want to ask your doctor what your increased PSA could
mean. Your doctor may recommend that you monitor your PSA levels regularly
and advise you on certain lifestyle changes you can adopt to lower your
PSA levels. When your findings are undetermined, you may want to undergo
additional tests to get a clearer diagnosis. Lastly, if your prostate
biopsy report shows cancer, it is essential that you discuss your course
of treatment with your doctor as soon as possible.
Your prostate biopsy report is not the end of your prostate health. Whatever
findings you may receive, the important thing is to listen and follow
the next steps your doctor recommends. It can also be helpful to ask your
family and close friends for support.
This article contains general information about medical conditions and
treatments. The information is not advice and should not be treated as
such. The information is not intended to replace the advice or diagnosis
of a physician.
If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should
consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.