Glossary of Terms

Diagnosis Terms

Professional Term Meaning
Adrenal glands Two small, triangle-shaped glands, one located on top of each kidney. These glands secrete various hormones, including androgens
Benign No cancerous and generally not life threatening
Biopsy A test that involves the removal of cells or tissue for examination under a microscope
Cancer A term for diseases in which abnormal cells divide without control and possibly spread
Digital rectal examination (DRE) An exam in which a doctor inserts a lubricated, gloved finger into the rectum to check for anything abnormal about the prostate
Hormone A chemical in the body produced by glands. Hormones circulate in the blood and control how certain cells and organs work
Malignant A cancerous tumor that can grow and spread and may be life threatening
Metastasis The spread of cancer from one part of the body to another part
Pituitary gland A gland located at the base of the brain. This gland produces hormones that tell the testes and other organs to release other hormones
Prostate A walnut-sized gland in men that surrounds part of the urethra. It is located below the bladder and in front of the rectum
Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) A substance in the blood that often increases in cases of prostate cancer and other prostate conditions
Scrotum The outside pouch that contains the testicles
Stage The size and extent to which the cancer may have spread
Testes Male reproductive glands that produce sperm and testosterone
Testosterone The male hormone responsible for the sexual characteristics of men
Tumor An abnormal mass of tissue that results from uncontrolled cell division and growth
Urethra The tube that carries urine from the bladder and semen from the sex glands

Treatment Terms

Professional Term Meaning
Adjuvant hormonal therapy Therapy that is given immediately after surgery or radiation in order to destroy cancer cells that may remain anywhere in the body after these procedures
Androgens Hormones that produce the sexual physical characteristics of men (such as deep voice and facial hair). The main male androgen is testosterone
Antiandrogens Drugs that fight prostate cancer by blocking the action of testosterone. These drugs are given as a pill
Bilateral orchiectomy Surgical removal of both testes, which results in castration
Biological therapy Treatment to stimulate or restore the ability of the immune system to fight infection and disease
Brachytherapy A procedure in which tiny "seeds" made up of radioactive material are placed directly into the prostate
Castration Treatment that suppresses testosterone. Castration can be achieved surgically (orchiectomy) or medically (using an LHRA-A)
Chemotherapy Treatment with anticancer drugs that attack the cancer cells but may harm certain types of healthy cells
Combined hormonal therapy Combining two types of hormonal therapy-a pill (an antiandrogen) and an injection (an LHRH-A)
Cryotherapy Repeated freezing and thawing of tumor cells, which result in cell death
External beam radiation Radiation therapy that uses a machine to direct high-energy rays at a certain part of the body where cancer has been detected
Hormonal therapy In prostate cancer, treatment that interferes with the production of and block male hormones (such as testosterone) that promote the growth of tumors
Luteinizing hormone (LH) A substance produced by the pituitary gland in the brain that stimulates the secretion of sex hormones in men and women
Luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone A hormone secreted by a part of the brain (hypothalamus) that trigger the release of LH
Luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone analog (LHRH-A) Drugs that treat prostate cancer by keeping the testes from producing testosterone. These drugs are typically given as an injection
medical oncologist A doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating cancer using chemotherapy, hormone therapy, or biological therapy
Neoadjuvant hormonal therapy Therapy that is given before surgery or radiation in order to improve the results of these procedures
Palliative therapy Therapy that is given to provide symptom relief but is not intended to cure the disease or extend life
Prognosis A prediction that is made about the potential outcome of a disease
Prostatectomy An operation to remove part or all of the prostate
Radiation oncologist A doctor who specializes in using radiation to treat cancer
Radiation therapy Treatment for prostate cancer that uses radiation to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors
Radical prostatectomy An operation to remove the entire prostate and some of the tissue around it
Recurrence When a cancer returns a the same site as the original tumor or another location, after it had disappeared
Systemic therapy Treatment using medicines that travel through the blood to reach cells throughout the body
Urologist A doctor who specializes in diseases of the urinary and sex organ in males and the urinary organs in females
Watchful waiting Closely monitoring a patient's condition without treatment, using regular digital rectal exams and PSA blood tests; also called observation or surveillance

Side Effect Terms

Professional Term Meaning
Gynecomastia Enlargement of the breasts in males
Hot Flashes Sudden rushes of body heat
Impotent Not able to have an erection adequate for sexual intercourse
Libido Sex drive
Urinary incontinence Not able to control the flow of urine from the bladder
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