abdomen (AB-do-men): The part of the
body that contains the pancreas, stomach, intestines, liver, gallbladder, and
adrenal glands (a-DREE-nal): A pair of
small glands, one located on top of each kidney. The adrenal glands produce
hormones that help control heart rate, blood pressure, the way the body uses
food, and other vital functions.
antiandrogens (an-tee-AN-dro-jens): Drugs
used to block the production or interfere with the action of male sex hormones.
anus (AY-nus): The opening of the rectum to the
outside of the body.
benign (beh-NINE): Not cancerous; does not invade
nearby tissue or spread to other parts of the body.
hyperplasia (hye-per-PLAY-zha): A benign (noncancerous) condition in
which an overgrowth of prostate tissue pushes against the urethra and the
bladder, blocking the flow of urine. Also called benign prostatic hypertrophy or
biological therapy (by-o-LAHJ-i-kul):
Treatment to stimulate or restore the ability of the immune system to fight
infection and disease. Also used to lessen side effects that may be caused by
some cancer treatments. Also called immunotherapy or biological response
modifier (BRM) therapy.
biopsy (BY-ahp-see): The removal of cells or
tissues for examination under a microscope. When only a sample of tissue is
removed, the procedure is called an incisional biopsy or core biopsy. When the
whole tumor is removed, the procedure is called an excisional biopsy. When a
sample of tissue or fluid is removed with a needle, the procedure is called a
needle biopsy or fine-needle aspiration.
bladder: The organ that stores urine.
cancer: A term for diseases in which abnormal cells
divide without control. Cancer cells can invade nearby tissues and can spread
through the bloodstream and lymphatic system to other parts of the body.
chemotherapy (kee-mo-THER-a-pee): Treatment
with anticancer drugs.
clinical trial: A research study that
evaluates the effectiveness of new interventions in people. Each study is
designed to evaluate new methods of screening, prevention, diagnosis, or
treatment of cancer.
cryosurgery (KRYE-o-SIR-jer-ee): Treatment
performed with an instrument that freezes and destroys abnormal tissues. This
procedure is a form of cryotherapy.
cystoscopy (sist-AHS-ko-pee): Examination of
the bladder using a thin, lighted instrument (called a cystoscope) inserted into
the urethra. Tissue samples can be removed and examined under a microscope to
determine if disease is present.
digital rectal examination:
DRE. An examination in which a doctor inserts a lubricated, gloved finger into
the rectum to feel for abnormalities.
dry orgasm: Sexual climax without the release
ejaculation: The release of semen through the
penis during orgasm.
estrogens (ES-tro-jins): A family of hormones
that promote the development and maintenance of female sex characteristics.
external radiation (ray-dee-AY-shun):
Radiation therapy that uses a machine to aim high-energy rays at the cancer.
Also called external-beam radiation.
(GEN-ih-toe-YOO-rin-air-ee): The parts of the body that play a role in
reproduction, in getting rid of waste products in the form of urine, or in both.
grade: The grade of a tumor is determined by how
abnormal the cancer cells appear when examined under a microscope, the probable
growth rate of the tumor, and its tendency to spread. The systems used to grade
tumors vary with each type of cancer.
hormone therapy: Treatment of cancer by
removing, blocking, or adding hormones. Also called endocrine therapy.
hormones: Chemicals produced by glands in the
body and circulated in the bloodstream. Hormones control the actions of certain
cells or organs.
imaging: Tests that produce pictures of areas
inside the body.
impotent (IM-po-tent): Inability to have an
erection adequate for sexual intercourse.
incision (in-SIH-zhun): A cut made in the body
incontinence (in-KAHN-tih-nens): Inability to
control the flow of urine from the bladder.
internal radiation (ray-dee-AY-shun):
Radiation therapy that is given internally. This is done by placing radioactive
material that is sealed in needles, seeds, wires, or catheters directly into or
near the tumor. Also called implant radiation or brachytherapy.
(in-tra-VEE-nus PYE-el-o-gram): IVP. A series of x-rays of the kidneys, ureters,
and bladder. The x-rays are taken after a dye is injected into a blood vessel.
The dye is concentrated in the urine, which outlines the kidneys, ureters, and
bladder on the x-rays.
local therapy: Treatment that affects
cells in the tumor and the area close to it.
hormone-releasing hormone agonist (LOO-tin-eye-zing. . .AG-o-nist):
LH-RH agonist. A substance that closely resembles luteinizing hormone-releasing
hormone (LH-RH), which controls the secretion of sex hormones. However, LH-RH
agonists affect the body differently than does LH-RH. LH-RH agonists eventually
cause a decrease in the secretion of sex hormones.
lymph nodes: Small organs located throughout
the body along the channels of the lymphatic system. The lymph nodes store
special cells that fight infection and other diseases. Clusters of lymph nodes
are found in the underarms, groin, neck, chest, and abdomen. Also called lymph
lymphatic system (lim-FAT-ik): The
tissues and organs that produce, store, and carry white blood cells that fight
infection and other diseases. This system includes the bone marrow, spleen,
thymus, and lymph nodes and a network of thin tubes that carry lymph and white
blood cells. These tubes branch, like blood vessels, into all the tissues of the
malignant (ma-LIG-nant): Cancerous; a growth
with a tendency to invade and destroy nearby tissue and spread to other parts of
medical oncologist (on-KOL-o-jist): A
doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating cancer using chemotherapy,
hormone therapy, and biological therapy. A medical oncologist often serves as
the person's main caretaker and coordinates treatment provided by other
metastasis (meh-TAS-ta-sis): The spread of
cancer from one part of the body to another. Cells in the metastatic (secondary)
tumor are the same type as those in the original (primary) tumor.
orchiectomy (or-kee-EK-toe-mee): Surgery to
remove one or both testicles.
pathologist (pa-THOL-o-jist): A doctor who
identifies diseases by studying cells and tissues under a microscope.
pelvis: The lower part of the abdomen, located
between the hip bones.
prognosis (prog-NO-sis): The likely outcome or
course of a disease; the chance of recovery.
prostate gland (PROS-tate): A gland in
the male reproductive system just below the bladder. It surrounds part of the
urethra, the canal that empties the bladder. It produces a fluid that forms part
PSA. A substance that may be found in an increased amount in the blood of men
who have prostate cancer or benign prostatic hyperplasia.
prostatectomy (pros-ta-TEK-toe-mee): An
operation to remove part or all of the prostate. Radical (or total)
prostatectomy is the removal of the entire prostate and some of the tissue
prostatic acid phosphatase
(FOS-fa-tays): PAP. An enzyme produced by the prostate. It may be found in
increased amount in men who have prostate cancer.
(ray-dee-AY-shun on-KOL-o-jist): A doctor who specializes in using radiation to
radiation therapy (ray-dee-AY-shun):
Radiation therapy (also called radiotherapy) uses high-energy radiation from
x-rays, neutrons, and other sources to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors.
Radiation may come from a machine outside the body (external-beam radiation
therapy) or from materials (radioisotopes) that produce radiation that are
placed in or near the tumor or in the area where the cancer cells are found
(internal radiation therapy, implant radiation, or brachytherapy). Systemic
radiation therapy involves giving a radioactive substance, such as a
radiolabeled monoclonal antibody, that circulates throughout the body.
rectum: The last 8 to 10 inches of the large
recur: To occur again. Recurrence is the return of
cancer, at the same site as the original (primary) tumor or in another location,
after it had disappeared.
remission: Disappearance of the signs and
symptoms of cancer. When this happens, the disease is said to be "in remission."
A remission may be temporary or permanent.
risk factor: Anything that increases the
chance of developing a disease.
scrotum (SKRO-tum): The external pouch of skin
that contains the testicles.
semen: The fluid that is released through the penis
during orgasm. Semen is made up of sperm from the testicles and fluid from the
prostate and other sex glands.
staging: Doing exams and tests to learn the extent
of the cancer within the body, especially whether the disease has spread from
the original site to other parts of the body.
surgery: A procedure to remove or repair a part of
the body or to find out if disease is present.
systemic therapy (sis-TEM-ik):
Treatment that uses substances that travel through the bloodstream, reaching and
affecting cells all over the body.
testicles (TES-tih-kuls): The two egg-shaped
glands found inside the scrotum. They produce sperm and male hormones.
testosterone (tes-TOS-ter-own): A hormone
that promotes the development and maintenance of male sex characteristics.
resection (TRANZ-yoo-REE-thral ree-SEK-shun): Surgical procedure to
remove tissue from the prostate using an instrument inserted through urethral.
Also called TURP.
tumor (TOO-mer): An abnormal mass of tissue that
results from excessive cell division. Tumors perform no useful body function.
They may be either benign (not cancerous) or malignant (cancerous).
study in which sound waves (called ultrasound) are bounced off tissues and the
echoes are converted into a picture (sonogram).
urethra (yoo-REE-thra): The tube through which
urine leaves the body. It empties urine from the bladder.
urologist (yoo-RAHL-o-jist): A doctor who
specializes in diseases of the urinary organs in females and the urinary and sex
organs in males.
vasectomy (vas-EK-toe-mee): An operation to cut
or tie off the two tubes that carry sperm out of the testicles.