The leading motivation behind wanting to call a 'malignant' prostate lesion 'benign' is the evidence of indolent prostate cancer that is not associated with a fatal outcome and in part makes therapeutic measures such as surgery and radiotherapy appear like overtreatment for some or possibly the majority of such patients.
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The present article reviews the definitions of 'precancerous lesion' and 'cancer' from a histopathologic point of view as the basis and gold standard for diagnosis. It is clear that with the 2 modifications implemented since its first publication, the Gleason score as the grading system for prostate cancer has shifted towards a low malignant subgroup diagnosed as Gleason 6. The recommendation of the International Society of Urological Pathology to change the Gleason score to a 5-tiered system, starting with grade group 1, is presented here, and may help doctor-patient communication especially in the active surveillance setting.
Oncology research and treatment. 2015 Nov 12 [Epub]
Institute of Pathology, University Hospital, RWTH Aachen, Aachen, Germany.