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A to Z of terms

Helpful A to Z listing key medical terms and their definition.

Term Definition
Active Surveillance means a A way of monitoring prostate cancer with regular tests, rather than treating it straight away. Tests include PSA tests, digital rectal examination (DRE) and repeat biopsies. These tests check for any changes that suggest that the cancer may grow, and treatment can then be offered at an early stage.
Advanced prostate cancer means Prostate cancer that has spread outside the prostate gland to other parts of the body, such as the bones.
Antioxidant means a substance that protects us from the dangerous free radicals.
Biopsy means the removal of small samples of tissue for analysis.
Biopsy means the removal of small samples of tissue for analysis.
BMD means bone mineral density test.
BPH means benign prostatic hyerplasia (enlargement of the prostate).
Catheter means a small tube inserted via the penis into the bladder.
Computerised tomography (CT) means a scanning technique using X-rays to take pictures of the body from different angles.
DRE means digital rectal examination.
EBRT means external beam radiotherapy.
ED means erectile dysfunction.
Gleason Grade means a grading system which shows how aggressive prostate cancer is likely to be. Cancer patterns in a prostate biopsy sample are given a grade. Cells that are not aggressive are grade 1 and the most aggressive are grade 5.
Gleason Score Your Gleason score is worked out by adding together the Gleason grades of the two most common types of cancer patterns in the biopsy samples. The higher the Gleason score, the more aggressive the cancer and the more likely it is to spread. Most men with prostate cancer will have a Gleason score of between 6 and 10.
HIFU means high-intensity focused ultrasound.
HR means hormone refractory.
Impotence means the inability to achieve a useful erection.
IMRT/IGRT means intensity modulated/image guided radiation therapy.
Incontinence means the inability to control urination.
Laparoscopy means looking into the abdomen by means of a tiny camera.
LH-RH means lutenizing hormone-releasing hormone.
LRP means laparoscopic radical prostatectomy.
Lymph Nodes These are part of the body's immune system. The lymph nodes in the groin and pelvic area sit close to the prostate gland and are a common place for prostate cancer to spread to. Also called lymph glands.
Matastasis means the spread of cancer from the prostate gland to other parts of the body. Cancers that have spread are called 'metastases' or 'secondaries'. A cancer that has spread is said to have 'metastasised'.
Multi-disciplinary team (MDT) means the team of health professionals involved in your care. The team may include a specialist nurse, a consultant oncologist and a consultant urologist.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) means a scanning technique using magnets rather than X-rays to create an image of your prostate and other tissues to see whether the cancer has spread.
NICE means National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence.
Nocturia means the need to urinate frequently at night.
Oncologist means a specialist in the medical treatment of cancer.
Oncology means the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.
Orchidectomy means an operation to remove the testicles.
Perineum means the area between the scrotum and the anus.
Prostatectomy means an operation to remove the prostate.
RALP means robotically assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy.
RP means radical prostatectomy.
Seminal vesicles means organs that contribute fluid to the ejaculate.
Prostate specific antigen (PSA) means a protein that is produced by the prostate gland. It is normal for all men to have a small amount of PSA in their blood. A raised PSA level can be due to a variety of reasons, including age, infection, an enlarged prostate and prostate cancer.
Testosterone means a male hormone secreted by the testes.
TCAP means targeted cryo-ablation of the prostate (i.e. cryotherapy).
TNM means tumour/nodes/metastases: a scale for measuring tumour spread.
TRUS means trans-rectal ultrasound scan.
TURP means trans-urethral resection of the prostate (an operation for enlargement).
Urethra means the tube through which urine and semen flow.
Urology means the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the urinary system, which includes the prostate gland.
Uro-oncology means the diagnosis and treatment of cancer that affects the urinary system, including prostate cancer.

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Published: 1-May-13^ back to top