Glossary

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Glossary
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  • The part of the body that includes the stomach, intestine, liver, bladder and kidneys. The abdomen is located between the ribs and hips.
  • A university qualified, allied health professional that provides tailored exercise plans to manage any symptoms or side effects from your prostate cancer treatment and improve how your body functions. They may provide health and physical activity information and support for lifestyle and behavioural changes.
  • A university qualified, allied health professional who specialises in nutrition. They provide personalised nutrition advice and support including eating plans, advice on supplements and nutritional counselling.
  • A treatment option for early, localised and slow growing prostate cancer.
  • Treatment given to actively treat or manage the cancer aiming to cure it. It includes surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy.
  • The technique of inserting thin needles through the skin at specific points on the body to control pain and other symptoms.
  • Pain that is severe but lasts a short time.
  • Small glands that make steroid hormones, adrenaline, and noradrenaline. These hormones help control heart rate, blood pressure, and other important body functions. There are two adrenal glands, one on top of each kidney.
  • Prostate cancer that has spread to surrounding tissue or has spread to other parts of the body. This may be other organs, lymphatic system (lymph nodes outside of the pelvis) or bones.
  • A drug or substance that binds to a receptor inside a cell or on its surface and causes the same action as the substance that normally binds to the receptor.
  • University qualified healthcare providers who are not doctors or nurses.
  • A condition in which the number of red blood cells is below normal. It can cause symptoms such as fatigue and pallor.
  • A drug or other substance used in medical procedures that causes a loss of feeling or awareness. Local anaesthetics cause a loss of feeling in one small area of the body. Regional anaesthetics cause a loss of feeling in a part of the body, such as an arm or leg. General anaesthetics cause a loss of feeling and a complete loss of awareness that feels like a very deep sleep.
  • A medical specialist who administers anaesthetics.
  • Pain relief that may be given as tablets, injections, patches or through an intravenous drip.
  • Androgens are hormones that contribute to growth and reproduction. The main male androgen is testosterone.
  • Treatment with drugs that minimises the effect of testosterone in the body. This is also known as hormone therapy.
  • Newer or novel second generation hormone therapy tablets.
  • Androgens are hormones that contribute to growth and reproduction. The main male androgen is testosterone.
  • Treatment with medication to block the action of the male hormone testosterone in the body. Androgens, such as testosterone, bind to proteins called androgen receptors, which are found in prostate cancer cells and in cells of some other tissues. Anti-androgen therapy (ADT) keeps androgens from binding to these receptors and may keep cancer cells from growing. It is used to control prostate cancer.
  • Medicines that help prevent blood clots.
  • Stockings that reduce the risk of blood clots by gently compressing your legs.
  • Drugs used to treat infections caused by bacteria and other microorganisms.
  • The entrance to the back passage through which bowel motions are passed.
  • Feelings of fear, dread, and uneasiness that may occur as a reaction to stress. A person with anxiety may sweat, feel restless and tense, and have a rapid heartbeat.
  • Feelings of fear, dread and uneasiness that may occur as a reaction to stress. A person with anxiety may sweat, feel restless and tense, and have a rapid heartbeat.
  • Without symptoms - without any noticeable changes in how a person feels, looks, or performs in spite of presence of a disease such as prostate cancer.
  • Also called enlarged prostate. This is a health issue that is very common in older men. It is not cancerous or life threatening. It can cause urinary symptoms. It is also known as benign prostate enlargement or benign prostate hypertrophy.
  • Also called enlarged prostate. This is a health issue that is very common in older men. It is not cancerous or life threatening. It can cause urinary symptoms. It is also known as benign prostate enlargement or benign prostate hyperplasia.
  • Sparing both nerve bundles in surgery to remove the prostate.
  • A medical procedure where small tissue samples of your prostate are taken and viewed under a microscope to diagnose prostate cancer.
  • A narrowing of the join between bladder and urethra resulting in difficulty in passing urine. Also called bladder neck contracture (BNC).
  • Training that teaches you to hold in urine for longer and longer periods of time to prevent emergencies and unexpected leakage.
  • A treatment involving a solution inserted into the bladder through a catheter and released after a short period of time.
  • Full and uncomfortable feeling in the abdomen. Can be caused by gas, eating in excess or constipation.
  • A measure of the number of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets in the blood. A blood cell count is used to help diagnose and monitor many conditions. Also called CBC, complete blood count and full blood count, FBC.
  • How you feel about your body, how you think it looks and how you present it to others.
  • The soft, spongy tissue that has many blood vessels and is found in the centre of most bones. There are two types of bone marrow: red and yellow. Red bone marrow contains blood stem cells that can become red blood cells, white blood cells, or platelets. Yellow bone marrow is made mostly of fat and contains stem cells that can become cartilage, fat, or bone cells.
  • A procedure to check for abnormal areas or damage in the bones. A very small amount of radioactive material is injected into a vein and travels through the blood. The radioactive material collects in the bones and is detected by a scanner (a special camera that takes pictures of the inside of the body). A bone scan may be used to diagnose bone tumours or cancer that has spread to the bone.
  • BRCA1 (BReast CAncer gene 1) and BRCA2 (BReast CAncer gene 2) are genes that produce proteins that help repair damaged DNA. Everyone has two copies of each of these genes—one copy inherited from each parent. Sometimes changes in these genes, called harmful (or pathogenic) variants (or mutations), occur which increase a person’s risk of developing cancer, particularly in the breasts, ovaries or prostate. People who have inherited a harmful variant in either of these genes often develop cancer at a younger age than people who do not have a variant.
  • A type of radiotherapy treatment that implants radioactive material sealed in needles or seeds into or near the cancer.
  • BRCA1 (BReast CAncer gene 1) and BRCA2 (BReast CAncer gene 2) are genes that produce proteins that help repair damaged DNA. Everyone has two copies of each of these genes—one copy inherited from each parent. Sometimes changes in these genes, called harmful (or pathogenic) variants (or mutations), occur which increase a person’s risk of developing cancer, particularly in the breasts, ovaries or prostate. People who have inherited a harmful variant in either of these genes often develop cancer at a younger age than people who do not have a variant.
  • A brief and often severe pain that occurs even though a person may be taking pain medication regularly.
  • A mineral needed for healthy teeth, bones, and other body tissues.
  • A specialist nurse who guides you and your family through cancer treatments and liaises with other care providers.
  • The extent of spread of cancer – the higher the number between I and 4, the further the cancer has spread.
  • In these resources, this term is used to mean anyone who has finished their active cancer treatment.
  • Prostate cancer that keeps growing even when the amount of testosterone in the body is reduced to very low (castrate) levels. Also called hormone-refractory or hormone resistant prostate cancer. Sometimes written as CRPC.
  • A hollow, flexible tube through which fluids can be passed into the body or drained from it.
  • Leaking urine during orgasm. Also called, orgasm-associated urinary incontinence.
  • A CT scan uses advanced x-ray technology to give detailed 3D images of inside your body.
  • The ability to control when you urinate (urinary continence) or empty your bowels (bowel continence).
  • Columns of spongy tissue that run through the shaft (body) of the penis. The corpus cavernosum forms most of the penis and contains blood vessels that fill with blood to help make an erection. One column is called corpus cavernosum. Both columns are called corpus cavernosa.
  • Columns of spongy tissue that run through the shaft (body) of the penis. The corpus cavernosum forms most of the penis and contains blood vessels that fill with blood to help make an erection. One column is called corpus cavernosum. Both columns are called corpus cavernosa.
  • Any steroid hormone made in the adrenal cortex (the outer part of the adrenal gland). They are also made in the laboratory. Corticosteroids have many different effects in the body and are used to treat many different conditions. They may be used as hormone replacement, to suppress the immune system, and to treat some side effects of cancer and its treatment. Corticosteroids are also used to treat certain lymphomas and lymphoid leukemias.
  • A CT scan uses advanced x-ray technology to give detailed 3D images of inside your body.
  • A CT scan uses advanced x-ray technology to give detailed 3D images of inside your body.
  • A cystoscope (a thin, tube-like instrument with a light and a lens for viewing) is inserted through the urethra into the bladder. Fluid is used to fill the bladder. The doctor looks at an image of the inner wall of the bladder on a computer monitor to check for abnormal areas.
  • The identification and naming of a person’s disease based on examination of symptoms and classification of its characteristics.
  • Tests that can guide a diagnosis
  • A physical examination of the prostate gland to feel for size, firmness and texture. It’s helpful to assess prostate cancer risk.
  • Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is the genetic material that provides the code for the development and maintenance of your body. DNA molecules are made of two strands twisted around each other to form a double helix shape. Your genes are found in these DNA molecules.
  • The injection of a liquid through the anus into the large bowel, to help release bowel contents.
  • An injection of an anaesthetic drug into the space between the wall of the spinal canal and the covering of the spinal cord.
  • The level to which an erection can be reached
  • When a test that indicates a condition is present, when in fact it is not present.
  • Small gold seeds that are implanted inside the prostate that allow for more precise radiation treatment.
  • The first treatment given for a disease. It is often part of a standard set of treatments, such as surgery followed by chemotherapy and radiation. When used by itself, first-line therapy is the one accepted as the best treatment. If it doesn’t actively treat the disease or it causes severe side effects other treatment/s may be added or used instead. Also called induction therapy, primary therapy and primary treatment.
  • The functional and physical unit of heredity passed from parent to offspring. Genes are pieces of DNA, and most genes contain the information for making a specific protein.
  • The basic unit of heredity passed from biological parents to children. Genes, made up of DNA, are found in all cells of the body. They contain the information needed to build and maintain the body.
  • A consultation between a specially trained health professional (genetic counsellor) and a person concerned about the genetic risk of disease. The person's family and personal medical history may be discussed, and counselling may lead to genetic testing.
  • a health professional who has special training in medical genetics and counselling.
  • An organism's complete set of DNA is called its genome. Virtually every single cell in the body contains a complete copy of the approximately 3 billion DNA base pairs, or letters, which makes up the human genome.
  • The abnormal growth of breast glandular tissue in males. It may be caused by conditions or treatments that cause hormone changes, such as hormone therapy for prostate cancer. it can also be caused by malnutrition, kidney, liver, or thyroid disease or treatment with certain drugs. It can occur at any age.
  • Blood in the urine which can be visible or invisible.
  • A shaft or opening on the surface of the skin through which hair grows.
  • Involves breathing pure oxygen in a pressurised environment.
  • The area of the brain that controls body temperature, hunger, and thirst, and the production of luteinising hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH).
  • A clinic that conducts imaging tests.
  • Index lesion is defined as the lesion(s) with the highest cancer suspicion score based on initial mpMRI of a patient, irrespective of size.
  • Keyhole surgery (laparoscopic surgery) is a type of surgical procedure that allows a surgeon to access the inside of the abdomen (tummy) and pelvis without having to make large incisions in the skin. This procedure is also known as laparoscopy, or minimally invasive surgery.
  • The kidneys remove waste and extra water from the blood (as urine) and help keep chemicals (such as sodium, potassium, and calcium) balanced in the body. The kidneys also make hormones that help control blood pressure and stimulate bone marrow to make red blood cells.
  • The removal or destruction of a body part or tissue using light energy from a laser beam.
  • Medicines that promote bowel movements and can help empty the bowel.
  • A substance that keeps the testicles and ovaries from making sex hormones by blocking other hormones that are needed to make them. In men, luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone agonists cause the testicles to stop making testosterone. Some luteinising hormone-releasing hormone agonists are used to treat prostate cancer. Also called GnRH agonist, GnRHa, gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist.
  • A substance that blocks the pituitary gland from making hormones called follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinising hormone (LH). In men, this causes the testicles to stop making testosterone. Some luteinising hormone-releasing hormone antagonists are used to treat advanced prostate cancer. Also called GnRH antagonist, gonadotropin-releasing hormone antagonist.
  • A machine that uses electricity to form a stream of fast-moving subatomic particles. This creates high-energy radiation that may be used to treat cancer. Also called LINAC, mega-voltage linear accelerator, and MeV linear accelerator.
  • Cancer that has remained within the prostate gland.
  • Cancer that has spread into lymph nodes and tissues near the prostate, such as seminal vesicles, bladder and rectum.
  • Cancer that has spread into lymph nodes and tissues near the prostate, such as seminal vesicles, bladder and rectum.
  • Many symptoms involving urination.
  • A hormone made in the pituitary gland. In males, it acts on the testes to cause cells to grow and make testosterone. Also called interstitial cell-stimulating hormone, LH, and lutropin.
  • A hormone made by a part of the brain called the hypothalamus. Luteinising hormone-releasing hormone causes the pituitary gland in the brain to make and secrete the hormones luteinising hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). In men, these hormones cause the testicles to make testosterone. In women, they cause the ovaries to make estrogen and progesterone. Also called GnRH, gonadotropin-releasing hormone, LH-RH, and LHRH.
  • Also called lymph glands. Small, bean-shaped collections of lymph cells that contain white blood cells. They are part of the lymphatic system. They fight infection by getting get rid of bacteria and other harmful things. There are lymph nodes in the neck, armpit, groin and abdomen.
  • The clear fluid that travels through the lymphatic system and carries cells that help fight infections and other diseases. Also called lymph.
  • A network of vessels that carry a clear fluid called lymph from the body's tissues to the bloodstream. The lymphatic system is part of the body's immune system and helps the body fight infection. This system contains lymph nodes that are small bean-shaped clusters of cells.
  • A benign cyst containing lymphatic fluid
  • A condition in which extra lymph fluid builds up in tissues and causes swelling. It may occur in arms, legs, genitals or the groin area if lymph vessels are blocked, damaged, or removed by surgery.
  • A scan where a powerful magnet and radio waves are used to take a detailed picture of the prostate
  • This includes the penis, testicles, scrotum, prostate gland, vas deferens, seminal vesicles and urethra.
  • The edge or border of the tissue removed in cancer surgery. The margin is described as negative or clean when the pathologist finds no cancer cells at the edge of the tissue. If the cancer has spread to the edge of the tissue, the margin is described as positive or involved.
  • This is a specialist doctor who uses advanced drugs and medications (for example, hormone therapy and chemotherapy) to treat cancer.
  • A doctor or other health care professional who is trained and licensed in a special area of practice
  • Metastasis or metastasise - Process of cancer spreading away from its primary site to other parts of the body. In prostate cancer this usually involves spread to lymph nodes and bones or sometimes the liver and/or lungs. Metastatic tumours or metastatic disease refers to the spread of prostate cancer away from the prostate gland. Metastatic prostate cancer is commonly called advanced prostate cancer.
  • Process of cancer spreading away from its primary site to other parts of the body. In prostate cancer this usually involves spread to lymph nodes and bones or sometimes the liver and/or lungs. Metastatic prostate cancer is commonly called advanced prostate cancer.
  • Prostate cancer that keeps growing even when the amount of testosterone in the body is reduced to very low levels. Many early-stage prostate cancers need testosterone to grow, but castrate-resistant prostate cancers do not.
  • Prostate cancer that keeps growing even when the amount of testosterone in the body is reduced to very low (castrate) levels. Many early-stage prostate cancers need testosterone to grow, but castrate-resistant prostate cancers do not. Also called mCRPC.
  • Multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging (mpMRI) scan. This combines the results of at least 3 different scanning techniques to get a clearer, more detailed picture of the prostate. This scan can provide information on the probability that you have prostate cancer from very unlikely to very likely.
  • A scan where a powerful magnet and radio waves are used to take a detailed picture of the prostate
  • The lowest PSA level after treatment
  • A feeling of sickness or discomfort in the stomach that may come with an urge to vomit. Nausea is a side effect of some types of cancer therapy.
  • A type of surgery that attempts to preserve the nerves near the tissues being removed.
  • A branch of medicine that specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. It includes medical oncology (the use of chemotherapy, hormone therapy, and other drugs to treat cancer), radiation oncology (the use of radiation therapy to treat cancer), and surgical oncology (the use of surgery and other procedures to treat cancer).
  • Treatment to manage symptoms caused by a cancer that cannot be cured.
  • A health professional who analyses blood tests and examines tissues under a microscope, such as biopsy samples, to diagnose cancer or assess the aggressiveness (how quickly it will grow or spread) of a cancer.
  • A laboratory that analyses samples and provides test results.
  • A nurse with specialist training in prostate cancer care, also referred to as a Prostate Cancer Specialist Nurse
  • A group of muscles that span the bottom of the pelvis and support the pelvic organs (bladder and bowel).
  • Specific type of exercise that strengthens the pelvic floor muscles.
  • A group of muscles that span the bottom of the pelvis and support the pelvic organs (bladder and bowel).
  • The area located below the waist and surrounded by the hips and pubic bone.
  • The skin between the anus and the scrotum in men.
  • Positron emission tomography scan - A procedure where a small amount of liquid radioactive material is injected into your body, and a scanner is used to make detailed, computerised pictures of areas inside the body where the radioactive material is taken up. Because cancer cells often take up more of this material than normal cells, the pictures can be used to find cancer cells in the body.
  • A pea-sized organ attached to the part of the brain called the hypothalamus. It lies at the base of the brain above the back of the nose. The hypothalamus sends signals to the pituitary gland, which then makes hormones that control other glands and many of the body’s functions, including growth and fertility.
  • Platelets are parts of very large cells in the bone marrow called megakaryocytes. They help form blood clots to slow or stop bleeding and to help wounds heal. Having too many or too few platelets can cause problems. Checking the number of platelets in the blood may help diagnose certain diseases or conditions. Also called thrombocyte.
  • This means the PSA levels are above the recommended level for your age and may indicate there is a problem with your prostate.
  • The likely outcome or course of a disease; the chance of recovery or recurrence.
  • Also called PSA. It is a protein produced by normal and abnormal (cancerous) cells of the prostate gland. Rises in blood levels of PSA may indicate disease within the prostate gland, including prostate cancer.
  • An inflammatory disorder of the prostate that can sometimes be caused by infection.
  • Means prostate-specific antigen. This is a protein produced by normal and abnormal (cancerous) cells of the prostate gland. Rises in blood levels of PSA may indicate disease within the prostate gland, including prostate cancer.
  • A blood test that measures the level of a protein, known as prostate-specific antigen in a person’s blood. PSA is produced by both normal and abnormal (cancerous) cells of the prostate gland and rises in a person’s PSA level may indicate prostate cancer or other non-harmful conditions. A PSA test is the primary method of risk assessment for prostate cancer in Australia and can be provided by general practitioners (doctors).
  • An imaging procedure that is used to help find prostate cancer cells in the body. For this procedure, a cell-targeting molecule linked to a radioactive substance is injected into the body and travels through the blood. It attaches to a protein called prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) that is found on the surface of prostate cancer cells. A PET scanner detects high concentrations of the radioactive molecule and shows where the prostate cancer cells are in the body. A PSMA PET scan may be used to help diagnose prostate cancer that may have come back or spread to other parts of the body. It may also be used to help plan treatment. Also called prostate-specific membrane antigen PET scan.
  • An imaging procedure that is used to help find prostate cancer cells in the body. For this procedure, a cell-targeting molecule linked to a radioactive substance is injected into the body and travels through the blood. It attaches to a protein called prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) that is found on the surface of prostate cancer cells. A PET scanner detects high concentrations of the radioactive molecule and shows where the prostate cancer cells are in the body. A PSMA PET scan may be used to help diagnose prostate cancer that may have come back or spread to other parts of the body. It may also be used to help plan treatment. Also called prostate-specific membrane antigen PET scan. PSMA PET/CT combines the PET results with a CT scan in one image to accurately pinpoint cancer.
  • Specialist doctors who prescribe and design radiation therapy treatment plans.
  • Trained therapists who deliver the controlled dose of radiation therapy according to the treatment plan prescribed by the radiation oncologist.
  • Surgery to remove the entire prostate and some of the tissue around it, including the seminal vesicles (a gland that helps make semen). Nearby lymph nodes may also be removed.
  • A substance used in medical imaging tests that can show abnormal or diseased areas of the body.
  • A substance used in medical imaging tests that can show abnormal or diseased areas of the body.
  • A procedure that uses radio waves to heat and destroy abnormal cells. The radio waves travel through electrodes (small devices that carry electricity). Radiofrequency ablation may be used to treat cancer and other conditions.
  • a person who has completed the prescribed education preparation, demonstrates competence to practise and is registered under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law
  • Radiation treatment that aims to destroy any prostate cancer cells remaining after surgery
  • In males, the external sac that contains the testicles.
  • A state of calmness, relaxation, or sleepiness caused by certain drugs. Sedation may be used to help relieve anxiety during medical or surgical procedures or to help cope with very stressful events. Drugs that relieve pain may be used at the same time.
  • Drugs that cause a state of calmness, relaxation or sleepiness.
  • Glands that help make semen. Men have two, joined to each side of their prostate gland.
  • Health Care Professionals who offer counselling services, therapeutic interventions, and information and resources for you, and your family and carers to support decision making and help with accessing services and support.
  • The size of the cancer and whether it has spread outside of the prostate.
  • The health and life of a person diagnosed with and treated for cancer. After treatment, it includes follow-up care, late effects of treatment, secondary cancers and quality of life factors.
  • Egg-shaped glands inside the scrotum that produce sperm and male hormones. Also called testes.
  • Testosterone is a sex hormone - also called an androgen. Androgens are hormones that contribute to growth and reproduction.
  • Includes free PSA and PSA connected to proteins (bound PSA).
  • A type of ultrasound where an ultrasound probe is inserted into the rectum and used to look at the prostate, rectum and nearby tissues. Also called endorectal ultrasound, ERUS, and TRUS.
  • Surgery to remove tissue from the prostate using an instrument inserted through the urethra. Also called TURP.
  • A procedure that uses high-energy sound waves to look at tissues and organs inside the body.
  • The tube through which urine leaves the body. It empties urine from the bladder.
  • A narrowing of the urethra, causing obstructive urinary symptoms.
  • The involuntary leaking of urine that you can't control.
  • A condition in which urine can’t empty from the bladder. Urinary retention can be acute and develop very quickly, or it can be chronic and occur over a long time. Signs and symptoms include not being able to urinate, feeling a need to urinate right away, urinating often but in small amounts, leaking urine, and lower abdominal pain or swelling. Urinary retention is usually caused by a blockage or narrowing in the bladder or urethra (tube through which urine leaves the body). This may result from an enlarged prostate, a bulging or sagging bladder, kidney or bladder stones, cancer, infection, or inflammation. Urinary retention may also be caused by nerve problems, weak bladder muscles, surgery, and certain medicines.
  • The body’s system for producing and removing urine. It involves the kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra.
  • A condition in which bacteria invade and grow in the urinary tract (the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra). Most urinary tract infections occur in the bladder and urethra. Signs and symptoms may include pain or burning during urination, cloudy or bad-smelling urine, blood in the urine, feeling a need to urinate often or right away, pain in the back or lower abdomen, fever, chills, and fatigue.
  • A doctor who specialises in the urinary and male reproductive systems of the body.
  • A coiled tube within the body that carries the sperm out of the testes.
  • Monitoring a patient’s condition and treating bothersome symptoms only. It may be used when the risks of treatment are greater than the possible benefits. During watchful waiting, patients may undergo certain tests and exams. Watchful waiting is sometimes used in prostate cancer for men with other health issues and/or men who have a shorter life expectancy.
  • A tube used to drain excess fluids from a wound.