Glossary of Terms

The Glossary of terms is extracted in part from the publication, 'What Women (and Their Men) Need to Know about Prostate Cancer', 2007 - second revised edition by Irena Madjar in collaboration with Gail Tingle. Prostate Survival Alliance Inc., ISBN: 978 0 646 48296 5

To order this publication, please contact the foundation on 1800 22 00 99.

Active surveillance: An option for management of early, localised, aslow growing prostate canber by close monitoring to decide when curative treatment should be given.

Advanced prostate cancer: Cancer that is well established and has spread away from the prostate to lymph nodes, bones, or other parts of the body.

Androgens: Male hormones, the main one being testosterone.

Androgen-deprivation therapy: Also known as hormone suppression therapy - blocking of male hormone activity in the body either temporarily or permanently. Used in combination with radiation therapy in locally advanced prostate cancer, or as a primary approach in the control of advanced prostate cancer.

Asymptomatic: Without symptoms (without any noticeable changes in how a personal feels, looks, or performs in spite of presence of a disease such as prostate cancer).

Benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH): Non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate gland, common in older men.

Brachytherapy: A form of radiotherapy for prostate cancer using radiation sources (needles or small 'seeds') implanted into the prostate gland.

Curative treatment: Treatment given with the intention of curing or eliminating the underlying disease. In the context of prostate cancer sometimes referred to as radical treatment.

Cystoscopy: Examination of the bladder using a thin tube with a light as its tip inserted through the urethra.

Digital rectal examination (DRE): Examination of the prostate gland by a doctor who inserts a gloved finger (digit) into the rectum (back passage) and feels for any changes in the size, shape and texture of the prostate.

External beam radiation therapy (EBRT): Radiation therapy using an outside source (a machine) to deliver repeat doses or radiation.

Gleason Score: A number from 2 to 10, indicating the grade (agressiveness) of prostate cancer. The higher the score the more aggressive the cancer.

Indolent (cancer):  'Lazy' or very slow-growing cancer.

Local(ised) prostate cancer: Cancer that is still contained within the prostate gland.

Metastasis:  Process of cancer spreading away from its primary site. In prostate cancer this usually involves spread to lymph nodes, bones and liver. Metastatic tumours or metastatic disease refers to secondary deposit of prostate cancer way from the prostate gland.

Prostate specific antigen (PSA): A protein produced by noth normal and abnormal (cancerous) cells of the prostate gland. Rises in blood leves of PSA can indicate a disease process within the prostate gland, including prostate cancer.

Prostatectomy: Operation to remove the prostate gland. Complete removal of the prostate gland, the portion of the urethra that runs through it, and the surrounding tissue.

Prostatodynia: Chronic or recurrent condition of the prostate marked by pelvin pain and other symptoms (not related to prostate cancer).

Trans-rectal ultra-sound (TRUS): Examination of the prostate gland using a small instrument (probe) placed in the rectum.

Trans-urethral resection of the prostate (TURP): Removal of the prostate tissue using an instrument inserted through the urethra.

Urologist: Medical specialist who is an expert in diagnosis and treatment of urinary problems, including biopsy of the prostate and prostate surgery.

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