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Gleason Score of 7

Posts: 1
Joined: May 2011

Just diagnosed wGleason Score of 7 (4+3) I'm afraid and indecisive about whether or not to use the robotic procedure method or go the open surgery route. Please help.

Thanks in advance for giving me hope.:-)

Posts: 156
Joined: Apr 2010

RELAX !! I was also a gleason 7 (3=4) and felt the same way you did when the doctor gave me the dreaded news. I chose to immerse myself in research and learned as much as I as I could about prostate cancer and all of the treatments available. Speak with all of the medical people you can ie: Urologist, Radiation oncologist, medical oncologist. They will all probably push their particular form of treatment but at least you'll get a sense of what your up against. Certain books will also be helpful such as "surviving prostate cancer" by Dr. Patrick Walsh. This is just one informative book---there are many others. The internet can also be very helpful. Once you've totally researched the subject it will be yours and only your decision to make as to what you think is the best course of action. There are inherent risks in each and every treatment and you'll learn about these as you do your research. Once you choose a treatment my advice to you is to look forward not backwards and press on with recovery. Good luck and stay positive !!! Dan

lewvino's picture
Posts: 1010
Joined: May 2009

Hi and sorry to read about your diagnosis. Yes it can be freighting when you get that 'C' word of Cancer. I' also a Gleason 7 (Pre surgery 4+3) after surgery changed to 7 at 3+4.
If you choose the robotic procedure make sure the doctor is Very experienced. I would look for someone with 500+ procedures done using the robot. Read and educate yourself. Ask your questions here. There is a vast amount of knowledge with our members (men and women) that have been down this road ahead of you. Keep us posted!

Lewvino (larry)

Posts: 140
Joined: Sep 2010

Last summer I was originally diagnosed (through Bostwick Labs) as a Gleason 9 and later after my DaVinci surgery with Dr. Kawachi, my post surgical biopsy was lowered to a 7 (4+3) at City of Hope. On the 8th-day-catheter removal I was fully continent and a few days later made love to my gal and am currently almost back to normal. I have since had three PSA tests showing zeros. (I am 59 years young)

All of the above posted information is correct except that when it comes to selecting a surgeon, if possible, pick one with several thousand DaVinci's under his belt. There are no do-overs so given the severity of the circumstances, do your homework. The robot is only as good as the operator so an experienced surgeon is mandatory. The best of the best may make mistakes but those cutting their teeth will make far more. Let them practice on someone else. Your Gleason score is slightly higher than being in the middle so do not take any chances. Whatever treatment you decide on, deal with the monster asap and in the meantime start healing with friendly foods.

You may read here and on other sites, where a few still refuse to believe the critical significance of diet and nutrition...but ignore them. They are wrong. Make no mistake, whether we are genetically predisposed for cancer or not, as elements in our environment can stimulate the disease, so can proper diet prevent, minimize and cure it. Will loading up on broccoli suddenly make your tumor disappear? Probably not, but consuming what's recommended can and will stop cancer in its tracks and once the tumor is removed or dealt with, dramatically reduce the chances the beast will return. In my case we chomped down or guzzled whatever the majority of the recognized data suggested and then some. Eliminating sugar, dairy and chemically enhanced animal proteins is also vital as that is what likely promoted cancer in the first place.

But equally important to all advice, REMAIN POSITIVE. If you can believe it, you can achieve it. I don't mean wishin' an' hopin'. I mean, declare your victory, act on it and have faith in the power of positive thinking. YOU WILL WIN THIS FIGHT! PERIOD. With the faith of a mustard seed...

ProfWagstaff's picture
Posts: 98
Joined: Jun 2010

I was right where you are two years ago. I was a gleason 7 (4+3) when diagnosed. My younger brother was diagnosed 7 moths before I was. He was 7 (3+4). Both of us opted for robotic but each case is different. The advice to get as much info as possible is valid. I can tell you that we both came through DaVinvi in fine shape but our surgeon has done over 1800 of them.

Cancer is a frightening diagnosis but this is very survivable. The frustration comes because there are so many treatment options. Think how much worse you'd feel if it were a kind of cancer with very few treatment options. Keep in contact with the fine people on this board. They are all veterans/survivors/caregivers, etc but all can give you valuable info.

Posts: 70
Joined: Jan 2011

wanted to also add some postive energy your way , was a gleason 7 3=4 had surgery

in Jan this year at age 47 , I am watching the yankee game and drinking a heineken ... , I am coaching little league , working every day , , stay on this board ask any question even the ones that dont seem important , THEY ALL ARE we have all been there and willing to help

good luck


VascodaGama's picture
Posts: 3387
Joined: Nov 2010


Your Gleason score sets you at the intermediate risk group of patients. I believe you have already narrowed your choices of treatment to surgery, however, if you are not aware yet, let me inform you that Gs 7 patients have other options too.
The decision on the treatment is done not just in reference to the Gleason but with reference to other data from your pathologist report (stage, ex-cap, PNI, volume, number of positive cores, etc) as well as PSA, image studies, other health conditions and age.
Treatments are also dependent on the side effects one is willing to accept.
The success of any treatment is very much “linked” to the experience of the doctor, his team and facilities & equipment where the treatment is done or delivered.

Surgery; open or robotic, are both excellent ways of treating prostate cancer. The robotic procedure is still considered by many doctors as a “new type” of treatment (since 2001), however, there are sufficient data collected from cases indicating its success in terms of “time to recurrence” (free biochemical survival) and free of surgical problems.

Robotic is termed as an option for “Minimally Invasive Procedure” because of its short incision and short stay at the hospital. It is a procedure taken by many because it allows them to return to their “job” earlier and cheaper. However, when comparing at the results in regards to post-operative complications, some studies indicate robotic cases with double possibilities for genito-urinary complications.
Here are two articles on the matter;

An important aspect of your case is the Gleason Pattern 4 you described above. The pathologist indicates that the majority of cancerous cells found in the biopsy are of group 4 which relates to an aggressive type of cancer.
In such setting doctors will want to remove, (as many as possible), lymph nodes in the perineural and iliac area, because these nodes are considered as a “gate” to metastases; and it is imperative to be certain that they find no nodes with cancer which will be important in your post-operative diagnosis.
A robot arm has difficulties in reaching this deep region, but some doctors in such case change the procedure in the mid of the operation and use their “hands” to dissect the nodes.
I would recommend you to investigate on the experience of the “performer” and the institution where you plan to get the treatment.

Hopefully my insight is of help to you.
Welcome to the board.


gumbyrun's picture
Posts: 58
Joined: Dec 2009

Just wanted to second that thought. I asked some goofy questions and answered a few as well. Also, I vented a few times on dark lonely nights and received lots of positive vibes to get me back on the sunny side of the street.
You can beat this beast.

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