Glossary of Terms

The following is a list of terms you may discover in your research of prostate cancer or in your discussions with physicians.  If you have other terms you would like to know the meaning of, please contact the Urology Resource Centre at info@UrologyResourceCentre.com

Adenocarcinoma
The most common type of prostate cancer that starts in the glandular tissue of the prostate.
Adjuvant therapy
The use of radiation or hormonal agents following surgery to help increase the chances of killing all the cancerous cells.
Analgesic
Painkiller
Androgen
The group of steroid hormones, including testosterone, that promote male sexual characteristics.
Antiandrogen Drugs
A type of drugs used in hormone withdrawal therapy that help prevent testosterone from having a stimulative effect on prostate cells.
Atypical cells
Cells that appear abnormal but not cancerous when viewed under the microscope.
Benign growth
A growth (tumour) that is not cancerous.
Biopsy
The surgical procedure in which a small piece of tissue is removed to be studied under the microscope to help make a diagnosis.
Bone Scan
A scanning technique used to determine if cancer has spread to the bones.
Brachytherapy
A type of radiation treatment that involves implanting tiny radioactive ‘seeds’ directly into the prostate.
Carcinoma
Another word for cancer.
CT or CAT Scanning
         A scanning technique that produces cross-sectional images of the body.
Cystoscopy
 A technique that allows the urologist to visualize the urethra, prostate and bladder.
Hematuria
Blood in the urine.
Hyperplasia
Cells that divide and accumulate in excessive numbers but are not yet cancerous.
Neoadjuvant therapy
The use of hormone therapy prior to the definitive treatment (surgery, radiation) to increase the chances of removing all the cancer.
Orbturator Fossa
An area near the prostate that contains the lymph nodes,  which are usually the first site of spread.
Palliation
Treatment to improve quality of life and reduce suffering, particularly when cure is not possible.
Primary Cancer
The organ in which the cancer originated.
Resection Margin
The outside layer of the prostate evaluated following surgical removal.  Positive margins means that the cancer is seen at the outside edge of the prostate.