Glossary of Medical Words1,3-6,8,9,11,20,60,61

Androgen deprivation: Type of treatment used to stop the production of testosterone

Anemia: Condition in which red blood cells are less able to carry oxygen to supply energy to cells throughout your body; feeling tired all the time (fatigue) is a common symptom of anemia

Anti-androgen therapy: A drug that blocks the activity of an androgen hormone; treatment that adds estrogen to the body

Benign prostatic hyperplasia: A noncancerous condition of the prostate in which an overgrowth of prostate tissue pushes against the urethra and bladder, blocking urine flow

Biochemical recurrence: Treatment relapse in which the PSA blood levels rise in a man with prostate cancer

Brachytherapy: Radiation therapy in which tiny radioactive seeds are precisely implanted in the prostate; considered a type of implant radiation therapy

Cancer: Uncontrolled cell growth that forms tumors

Chemotherapy: Drugs used to destroy rapidly growing cancer cells

Corticosteroids: Type of steroid; may be used in combination with chemotherapy to treat advanced prostate cancer

Cryosurgery: Procedure using Argon gas, which is inserted through an incision in the skin to freeze and destroy the prostate

Digital rectal exam (DRE): Exam in which your doctor inserts a lubricated, gloved finger into the rectum to feel your prostate through the rectal wall, checking for hard or lumpy areas

Erectile dysfunction (ED): Inability to achieve or maintain an erection that is adequate for sexual activity

External-beam radiation: Radiation that comes from a machine outside the body; used to target cancer cells

Fatigue: Loss of power or your capacity to respond to stimulation

Gleason score: A system of grading prostate cancer tissue based on how it looks under a microscope. Gleason scores range from 2 to 10 and indicate how likely it is that a tumor will spread. A low Gleason score means the cancer tissue is similar to normal prostate tissue and the tumor is less likely to spread. A high Gleason score means the cancer tissue is very different from normal and the tumor is more likely to spread

Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists and antagonists: Types of drugs used to stop testosterone production by the testes and, in turn, slow hormone-dependent prostate cancer cell growth

High-density lipoprotein (HDL): One of 2 types of cholesterol that are measured to calculate your total cholesterol level; often referred to as “good cholesterol” because it helps reduce the amount of LDL cholesterol, or “bad cholesterol,” in your body

Hormone: A chemical substance the body produces to regulate the growth and functioning of certain cells and organs

Hormone therapy: Treatment with drugs to interfere with hormone production or hormone action, or the surgical removal of hormone-producing glands

Low-density lipoprotein (LDL): One of 2 types of cholesterol that are measured to calculate your total cholesterol level; it is often referred to as “bad cholesterol” because high levels can lead to cardiovascular disease

Lymphadenectomy: Surgical removal of the lymph nodes

Malignant: Uncontrolled spread of abnormal cells

Metastasized: Describes cancer that has spread to sites distant from the original spot where the cancer first developed

Obesity: Being extremely overweight

Orchiectomy: Surgery to remove the testes; castration

Palliative therapy: Therapy used to improve the quality of life by managing disease symptoms

Prostate cancer: Uncontrolled spread or malignant growth of abnormal cells of the prostate gland

Prostate gland: Walnut-sized male sex gland that lies underneath the urinary bladder

Prostate-specific antigen (PSA): Protein produced by cells of the prostate gland. PSA levels are used to help identify disorders of the prostate

Proton-beam radiation: Type of radiation that uses protons to kill tumor cells without damaging nearby tissues

Radiation therapy: Treatment that uses high-energy X-ray beams to shrink tumors

Radical prostatectomy: Surgical removal of the entire prostate

Testosterone: Male sex hormone produced primarily by the testes; important in male physical and sexual function and development

TNM (tumor-nodes-metastasis) staging: Common method of staging cancer, including prostate cancer

Total cholesterol: Includes LDL (bad cholesterol) + HDL (good cholesterol) + triglyceride levels (blood fats)

Transrectal biopsy: In prostate cancer, the removal of a small tissue sample from the prostate. A pathologist checks the sample for cancer cells

Transrectal ultrasound: Test that uses sound waves to produce a sonogram; ultrasound allows your doctor to look closely at your prostate for abnormal areas

Triglycerides: Blood fats

Tumor: Mass of tissue formed from the buildup of extra cells. Not all tumors are cancerous

Watchful waiting/active surveillance: A program of ongoing testing and examinations to closely monitor the state of a patient’s prostate cancer, without immediate treatment for prostate cancer