- A way of describing prostate cancer based on how abnormal the cancer cells in a biopsy sample look under a microscope and how quickly they are likely to grow and spread. Most prostate cancers contain cells that are different grades. The Gleason score is calculated by adding together the two grades of cancer cells that make up the largest areas of the biopsied tissue sample. The Gleason score usually ranges from 6 to 10. The lower the Gleason score, the more the cancer cells look like normal cells and are likely to grow and spread slowly. The Gleason score is used to help plan treatment and determine prognosis (outcome).