Here you will find all the medical terms used on this website and their explanation. You can also download the print-friendly version of the glossary from the library.
A type of minimally-invasive procedure to remove abnormal tissue. The doctor destroys the abnormal tissue using heat (radiofrequency ablation) or extreme cold (cryoablation).
A treatment plan that involves closely watching a patient’s condition but not giving any treatment unless there are changes in test results that show the condition is getting worse. Active surveillance may be used to avoid or delay the need for treatments such as radiation therapy or surgery, which can cause side effects or other problems. During active surveillance, certain exams and tests are done on a regular schedule.
Procedures to remove a kidney or ureteral stone.
The enlarged part of the prostate.
The adrenal glands are organs that sit at the top of the kidneys. They are responsible for releasing hormones.
The surgical procedure in which the adrenal gland is removed.
A group of drugs that reduces or stops the production of the hormone adrenaline.
A lowered level of red blood cells. It is the most common disorder of the blood. It causes fatigue, weakness and poor concentration, among others.
Before a procedure you will get medication to make sure that you don’t feel pain. Under general anaesthesia you are unconscious and unaware of what is happening to you. Under spinal or local anaesthesia you will not feel pain in the part of your body where the procedure is done. Anaesthesia wears off gradually after the procedure.
A therapy in prostate cancer, with the aim to stop or slow down tumor growth. Prostate cancer cells usually require androgen hormones, such as testosterone, to grow. ADT reduces the levels of androgen hormones, with drugs or surgery, to prevent the prostate cancer cells from growing
Male sex hormones that control and provide male characteristics like facial hair and lower voice.
The medical specialist that deals with male health, particularly relating to the problems of the male reproductive system and urological problems that are unique to men.
Any drug that blocks the action of androgens.
Therapy with drugs which prevent the formation of new blood vessels that feed a tumour and allow it to grow.
Any condition which does not cause symptoms and is discovered incidentally.
Stones that do not cause any symptoms. They are usually found during imaging tests done for another condition.
Cell growth in the body which is not cancerous.
An enlargement of the prostate related to hormonal changes with age.
A non-cancerous growth which will not spread to other organs.
A measurable indicator of a certain biological state or condition.
A medical procedure in which a small piece of tissue is removed from the body to examine it. This is done to get information for diagnosing, monitoring, and treatment.
Organ which collects urine from the kidneys.
The group of muscles that connect the bladder to the urethra. These muscles contract to keep the urine in the bladder, and relax to let the urine pass to the urethra.
The different layers of tissue that shape the bladder.
A scan of the entire body that can be used to find bone metastases.
Sometimes called seed implantation. Radioactive “seeds” are carefully placed inside of the cancerous tissue and positioned to attack the cancer most efficiently.
A doctor who specializes in cardiovascular diseases.
A disease involving the heart and the blood vessels.
A chemical or surgical treatment in which the production of androgens is stopped, or the effect of the hormones is blocked.
A type of prostate cancer that needs lower levels of androgens to continue to grow.
A hollow flexible tube to insert or drain fluids from the body. In urology, catheters are generally used to drain urine from the bladder.
The shape, structure, form, and size of cells
A type of treatment in which drugs are used to stop the production of androgens, or block their effect.
Is a treatment of cancer with drugs that are toxic to cells. Some are specifically toxic to cells that grow faster than normal, like cancer cells.
A type of kidney tumour with a high content of fat.
These are experimental research studies designed to answer specific questions about treatments or drugs. They generally test how well a treatment works among patients with specific characteristics.
A type of treatment in which the doctor monitors your health and can recommend treatment if necessary.
Monitoring the progress of the stone disease or treatment with medication to ease the natural passing of stones.
Any symptoms or conditions that make a certain treatment option undesirable.
A substance that increases the contrast of structures or fluids in the body. It is used in medical imaging (See also Imaging).
Is the use of low temperatures in medical therapy, to treat either benign or malignant cell growth.
Cryosurgical ablation of the prostate. In this minimally-invasive technique, freezing temperatures are applied directly to the tumour cells to kill them.
CT stands for Computed Tomography. It is an imaging technique that makes a series of x-ray images of the body.
A type of endoscope which is used in the urethra (see also Endoscope, Urethra).
It is a procedure in which the doctor looks inside your body with a cystoscope inserted through the urethra
A certain component of the cell skeleton.
A specimen of cells from body fluids (for example urine) or swabs. These specimens can be evaluated by specially trained persons using a microscope to identify cells suspicious for cancer.
Cytoreductive means reducing the number of tumour cells. This surgery is specific for metastatic kidney cancer. In this surgical procedure a tumour in the kidney is removed, while leaving distant metastases. The aim of the surgery is to reduce the total tumour cells in the body.
The cytoskeleton of the cell is a fibre-like structure and provides the cell’s shape and internal organisation.
Relieving pressure in the kidneys. A nephrostomy tube is placed directly in the kidney through the skin so that urine can leave the body.
An injection of a drug, usually into the muscle or right under the skin. The drug is either solid or oil-based and the active compound is released over a long period of time, without having to take any extra steps.
A smooth muscle found in the bladder wall. The detrusor muscle remains relaxed to allow the bladder to store the urine, and contracts during urination to release the urine.
The doctor and nurses do a series of tests to understand what causes your symptoms.
A test in which the doctor uses a finger to feel the size, shape, and consistency of the prostate to diagnose conditions like an enlarged prostate or prostate cancer.
Cell disintegration or lysis is a common part of daily sample preparation in biotech laboratories. The goal of lysis is to disrupt parts of the cell wall or the complete cell to release biological molecules.
DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid, is the hereditary material in humans and almost all other organisms.
DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid, is the hereditary material in humans and almost all other organisms.
A non-surgical, minimally-invasive procedure in which a blood vessel is blocked to prevent the blood flow from reaching a tumour.
A medical doctor who deals with the diagnosis and treatment of diseases related to hormones.
A tube-like instrument to examine the inside of the body. Can be flexible or rigid.
Large biological molecules that are responsible for the processes of the metabolism.
The inability to get or keep an erection.
The erectile tissue forming the bulk of the penis.
A treatment option that uses high energy sound waves to break down tissue.
This means you feel more tired than usual, you are out of energy, and it doesn’t get better after you sleep. You may also experience pain in your joints, muscles, and chest.
A type of connective tissue made of cells which store fat. Also called adipose tissue.
The first treatment given for a disease. It is often part of a standard set of treatment options.
Fluorescence in situ hybridisation; a technique to visualise certain genetic areas with fluorescent dyes.
When testosterone levels increase before decreasing as a result of hormonal drug therapy with LHRH agonist drugs.
A general term for a variety of minimally-invasive techniques for destroying small tumours. The main purpose of focal therapy is to limit damage to surrounding tissue.
In radiology, the act of dividing the dose of radiation into smaller doses with one or more rest periods in between.
Pieces of the stone broken during a procedure.
Analysing the aggressiveness of a tumour based on the structure of its cells.
In genetics, a biomarker (identified as genetic marker) is a DNA sequence that causes disease or is associated with susceptibility to disease.
A gene change/mutation is a permanent alteration in the DNA sequence that makes up a gene, such that the sequence differs from what is found in most people.
A gland is an organ that synthesizes hormones for release into the bloodstream or other parts of the body.
The rounded part forming the end of the penis.
The Gleason score determines the aggressiveness of a tumour in the prostate. It is based on the pattern of the cancer cells. Each pattern gets a value between 1 and 5. The pathologist adds the scores of the two patterns that appear in most of the tissue samples after a biopsy. Tumours with a higher score are more aggressive and more difficult to cure.
Having to do with the health of the female reproductive system, including the vagina, uterus and ovaries, and the breasts.
A hormonal disorder in which men have benign enlargement of breast tissue.
Occurrence of blood in the urine. Can be non-visible (microhematuria) or visible (macrohematuria).
A side effect of some types of drug therapy for cancer. It causes redness, swelling and pain on the palms of the hands and/or the soles of the feet, and in some cases blisters.
High-Intensity Focussed Ultrasound. A minimally-invasive procedure that applies ultrasound energy to heat up and destroy cancer cells.
Cancer cells with severe anomalies and little resemblance to their normal counterparts.
The examination of tissue under a microscope, to study the presence and characteristics of diseases such as cancer.
Any treatment option in which hormones are used.
Molecules that are produced in glands and circulate in the blood system to reach their target organs. They affect body functions and behaviour.
A medical condition characterized by redness of the skin, sweating and a sudden feeling of inner heat.
Taking images of the body with ultrasound, x-ray or other scanning techniques.
A type of cancer treatment which boosts the immune system to fight tumour cells.
A tube placed in the urethra and bladder to help you urinate.
Infection is the invasion of an organism’s body tissues by disease-causing agents, their multiplication, and the reaction of host tissues to these organisms and the toxins they produce.
Inflammation is part of the complex biological response of body tissues to harmful stimuli, such as pathogens, damaged cells, or irritants, and is a protective response involving immune cells, blood vessels, and molecular mediators. The function of inflammation is to eliminate the initial cause of cell injury, clear out necrotic cells and tissues damaged from the original insult and the inflammatory process, and to initiate tissue repair.
A tube placed in the urethra and bladder to help you urinate. An intermittent catheter is manually placed and removed several times a day, to empty the bladder fully.
An injection into the base of the penis.
An imaging technique where x-ray contrast agent is injected into the vein, usually in the arm.
Any procedure in which the doctor inserts instruments into the body, or parts of the body.
A tube that is temporarily placed in the ureter to make sure urine can flow from the kidney to the bladder.
Two bean-shaped organs in the back of the abdomen that filter the blood and produce urine.
A minimally-invasive surgical technique in which the surgeon does not need to cut through skin and tissue. Instead, the surgeon inserts the surgical instruments through small incisions in your abdomen.
Drugs used in prostate cancer treatment to stop the production of testosterone in the testicles.
Drugs used in prostate cancer treatment to stop the production of testosterone, by inhibiting the production of androgens.
A short band of tough, flexible fibrous tissue which connects two bones or cartilages or holds together a joint.
A lobe is any division or extension of an organ that is clearly visible without using a microscope.
A kidney cancer where the tumour is limited to the kidney and has not spread.
A prostate cancer where the tumour is limited to the prostate and has not spread.
A cancer where the tumour has grown out of the kidneys into surrounding tissue and invaded veins, the adrenal gland, or lymph nodes.
A prostate cancer where the tumour has spread outside of the prostate and into surrounding tissue.
Cancer cells with little anomalies and distinct resemblance to their normal counterparts.
Lower urinary tract symptoms. A term used for the symptoms caused by BPE which can also point to other diseases affecting the urinary tract (see also Urinary tract).
Small oval-shaped organs that play a role in regulating how the immune system responds.
The surgical procedure in which the lymph nodes are removed because they are enlarged due to the presence of a tumour.
Leakage of lymph fluid onto the skin. The fluid leads to skin damage, and may cause an infection.
A cancerous growth which either grows continuously or in spurts. Malignant tumours can metastasize, which means they spread throughout the body.
Glands located in the breasts. In women, the mammary glands can produce milk.
Medication that makes the natural passing of stones easier and less painful.
A brief summary of previous operations, previous and current diseases, known allergies, and drugs you currently take.
A doctor who specializes in all types of cancer and mostly uses drugs to treat them.
Series of blood and urine tests for patients who have a high risk of forming stones.
The surgical procedure to remove metastases. These are tumours that have spread to other organs of the body.
When a tumour has spread to other organs or lymph nodes.
A surgical procedure where there is no need to make an incision in the body. An endoscope is used to reach the part of the body that needs to be treated through the urethra (see also Endoscope).
A surgical procedure where there is no need to cut through skin and tissue. Small incisions are made in the abdomen to insert the surgical instruments.
Having symptoms of both stress urinary incontinence and urgency urinary incontinence.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging is a technique in which strong magnetic fields and radio waves are used to make images of the body.
A combination of different branches of expertise. In medicine, it means that for instance urologists, oncologists, psychologists or other medical specialists work together.
A permanent change in the genetic code.
The process through which new blood vessels form from pre-existing vessels. In cancer this process allows tumours to grow.
Another name for partial nephrectomy, the surgical removal of a kidney tumour together with some of the normal kidney tissue. This surgery aims at preserving as much of the kidney tissue as possible.
A tube placed directly into the kidney through the skin. This allows the urine to leave the body.
A type of surgery that attempts to save the nerves near the tissues being removed.
A complication in the lower urinary tract caused by problems in the nervous system that influences its activity.
Related to the nervous system.
A medical doctor who has trained in the diagnosis and treatment of nervous system disorders, including diseases of the brain, spinal cord, nerves, and muscles.
A group of drugs for castration-resistant prostate cancer when standard hormonal treatment is no longer effective.
Waking up one or more times during the night because of the need to urinate.
When the kidneys overproduce urine at night.
Type of CT scan with low radiation exposure.
A group of medicines used to relieve pain. It is often used to relieve renal colic.
Repetitive pauses in breathing during sleep, despite the effort to breathe, commonly paired with snoring.
The main female sex hormones which control female characteristics of the body and are important to the reproductive and menstrual cycle.
A medical professional who is dedicated to the diagnosis, therapy, follow-up and general care of a person with any type of cancer.
A surgical procedure in which the surgeon cuts skin and tissues to have direct access to the structures or organs.
A method of surgical castration in which one or both testicles are removed. If only one testicle is removed, this is known as unilateral orchiectomy. If both testicles are removed this is referred to as bilateral orchiectomy.
A bone disease characterized by a reduction of bone mass.
A collection of urinary storage symptoms, including urgency, incontinence, frequency and nocturia.
A component found in many kinds of food which may be related to forming kidney or ureteral stones.
During the pad test your doctor asks you to wear an absorbent pad. Usually the test lasts between 1 and 24 hours. You have to weigh the amount of urine absorbed by the pad.
A concept of care with the goal to optimize your quality of life if you cannot recover from your illness. It involves physical, psychological, social, and spiritual issues.
A prickling (“pins and needles”) or tingling (“falling asleep”) sensation of the skin.
Reactions that the body can have to any type of cancer and may include high blood pressure, weight loss, fever, anaemia, muscle mass loss, and loss of appetite.
A surgical procedure in which a part of the kidney is removed.
A medical professional who studies tissue, blood, or urine to understand the specific characteristics of diseases. In cancer treatment, the pathologist helps with the diagnosis and classification of tumours.
Muscles that support the pelvic organs, including the bladder and rectum.
A reproductive organ in men which also carries urine out of the body.
Through the skin.
Treatment option to remove stones directly from the kidney by placing a tube through the skin.
A collection of blood next to or around the kidney.
The area between the anus and the scrotum or vulva.
Oedema means swelling. Peripheral oedema refers specifically to swelling of the ankles and legs.
The fat that surrounds the kidney.
A small soluble block that is inserted into the vagina to treat infection or as a contraceptive. It can also be an elastic or rigid device that is inserted into the vagina to support the uterus.
A positron emission tomography (PET) scan is an imaging test that uses a radioactive substance called a tracer to look for disease in the body. A PET scan shows how organs and tissues are working.
Lots of tiny red spots or bruises on your arms and legs, caused by a minor haemorrhage in the blood vessels of the skin.
A measure between 0.0 and 14.0 to describe if a fluid is acidic or alkaline. pH values close to 7.0 are neutral, anything above is alkaline, anything below is acidic.
Having to do with or affecting the body.
A point-of-care test allows patient diagnoses in the physician’s office, an ambulance, the home, the field, or in the hospital. The results of care are timely, and allow rapid treatment decisions for the patient.
The amount of urine left in the bladder after urination.
A persistent and painful erection of the penis.
The sensation that your mouth is dry which leads you to drink too much.
The malignant cell growth located where the tumour first began to develop.
The medical term for predicting the likely outcome of health after treatment.
Prognosis is a medical term for predicting the likely outcome of one’s current standing.
The gland which produces the fluid which carries semen. It is located in the male lower urinary tract, under the bladder and around the urethra.
A protein produced by the prostate which may increase in men with a benign prostatic enlargement, prostatic inflammation, or prostate cancer.
A surgical procedure in which part of or the entire prostate is removed.
Testing men for the level of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in their blood. A high level of PSA in the blood suggests that the cells in the prostate are behaving unusually.
A medical doctor specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness.
Having to do with or affecting the mind.
A specialist who uses radiation therapy to treat cancer.
A type of cancer treatment that uses radiation to control or kill malignant cells.
A surgical procedure in which the entire kidney is removed.
A surgical procedure in which the entire prostate is removed.
A medical procedure which uses the heat generated from high-frequency currents to treat kidney tumours.
A medical professional who specialises in imaging techniques. In cancer, the radiologist analyses x-ray, ultrasound, CT, MRI, or other scans to diagnose or monitor the tumour.
The final section of the large intestine, ending at the anus.
The return of cancer after treatment and after a period of time in which the cancer could not be detected. This can happen either in the place where the cancer first was detected, or somewhere else in the body. There is no standard period of time, but most doctors would consider it a recurrence if the cancer had not been detected again for at least one year.
Related to the kidneys.
The artery that carries a large portion of the blood flow that needs to be filtered to the kidneys.
An instrument used during surgery. The blood flow through the renal artery is blocked with a device called a clamp that compresses the artery.
Medical name of kidney cancer.
Severe pain in flank, loin, groin, or thigh caused by a stone blocking the normal flow of urine.
Fluid-filled sacs located on the kidney. Cysts can be malignant.
Also called Gerota’s fascia, it is a layer of connective tissue that surrounds the kidneys.
This is the vein that carries the blood filtered by the kidney back into the body.
A type of endoscope used for minimally invasive treatment of BPE.
A condition when semen can no longer go through the urethra during orgasm but goes into the bladder instead. The semen later leaves the body during urination.
Behind the pelvic bone.
A tool to determine a treatment pathway. It is based on disease characteristics combined with personal characteristics like medical and family history or general state of health.
Ribonucleic acid; a carrier of genetic information.
A treatment for cancer given together with or after the main treatment. It can be a treatment to prevent recurrence or part of a palliative care approach.
A pouch of skin containing the testicles.
Treatment that is given when initial treatment does not work, or stops working.
A pair of glands located below the bladder. They produce semen.
The sensitivity of a clinical test refers to the ability of the test to correctly identify those patients with the disease (true positive rate).
A state of physical, emotional, mental and social well-being in relation to sexuality.
Treatment option to break stones into smaller pieces using high energy sound waves. Stone fragments pass with urine after the procedure.
Muscle tissue that is responsible for the contraction of hollow organs, like blood vessels
The specificity of a clinical test refers to the ability of the test to correctly identify those patients without the disease (true negative rate).
An emergency condition where a tumour or bone fragment puts pressure on the nerves in the spinal cord.
A drug that tries to reproduce the effect of a hormone in the body. Some steroids are used to treat infections. Other steroid drugs have effects similar to testosterone.
When your urethra or urinary sphincter cannot resist the pressure of a full bladder. As a result, you lose urine when the pressure on your lower urinary tract suddenly increases. This can happen during activities like coughing, sneezing, or laughing, exercise like running or jumping, or carrying heavy things like groceries.
An instrument to help doctors perform laparoscopic surgery. The surgeon controls the robotic instrument with remote control sensors.
Closely monitoring a patient’s condition but postponing therapy until symptoms appear or change.
These are drugs that target the mechanisms that cancer cells use to grow.
Erectile dysfunction that is not chronic or permanent.
The testicles are the male organs that produce sperm and the male hormone testosterone.
A steroid androgen hormone that is produced mainly in the testicles and is responsible for the development of male sexual characteristics.
A gland found in the neck which controls how quickly the body uses energy, makes proteins and how sensitive it is to other hormones.
The non-metallic part of an Artificial Urinary Sphincter (AUS) that serves to adjust the pressure of the device.
The Tumour Node Metastasis (TNM) classification is an international classification used to classify tumours according to the size and invasiveness of the tumour (T), whether any lymph nodes are affected (N) and if the cancer has spread to any other parts of your body (M).
Through the natural space in the hip bone.
TURP is a standard surgery to treat benign prostatic enlargement (BPE). A part of the prostate is removed to improve the symptoms without making an incision in your lower abdomen. This type of surgery is known as minimally invasive treatment.
One of the main management tools for doctors. The different tasks or interventions are defined, optimized and set in a specific order. With this the medical team can work on the health of a patient together.
When tumour cells reach the blood or another organ during surgery. These cells may grow in a different location and develop into tumours.
This refers to how extended a cancer is in the body. It is usually based on the size of the tumour and whether the tumour has spread to the lymph nodes or other organs.
Imaging technique that uses high-frequency sounds to make an image of the inside of the body (ultrasound).
Imaging technique that uses high-frequency sounds to make an image of the inside of the body.
One of the two tubes through which urine flows from the kidneys to the bladder.
An endoscope used for the urinary tract. It is inserted into the urethra and can move through the bladder, up the ureter, and even into the kidney.
Treatment option to remove kidney or ureteral stones. A ureteroscope is inserted into the urinary tract via the urethra to pull out the stone.
The tube which carries urine from the bladder and out of the body.
The sudden need to urinate which is difficult to postpone.
Urgency urinary incontinence (UUI) happens when you get a sudden need to urinate which you cannot postpone. The bladder muscle contracts and you urinate when you do not want to.
A chemical that is created when the body breaks down substances called purines.
The need to urinate more often than usual, generally more than 8 times a day.
Involuntary loss of urine.
When you are unable to urinate. This condition can be chronic.
The muscles used to control the exit of urine in the bladder, through the urethra. When either one of the muscles contracts, the urethra is sealed shut.
The organ system which produces and transports urine through and out of the body. It includes two kidneys, two ureters, the bladder and the urethra. The urinary tract is similar in men and women, only men have a longer urethra.
Bladder, kidney and urethral cancer.
The urination cycle has two phases. One is when the bladder fills up, and it is followed by the urination phase, where the bladder empties.
The accidental escape of urine from the bladder.
A special funnel that is used during a uroflowmetry test. The funnel is connected to a measuring instrument that calculates the amount of urine, rate of flow in seconds, and length of time until you finish urinating.
A doctor specialized in health and diseases of the urinary tract and the genitals.
An external pump with a band on it that a man with erectile dysfunction can use to get and maintain an erection.
The muscular tube leading from the external genitals to the cervix of the uterus in women.
The large vein that returns blood with low oxygen from the body into the heart.
The female external genitals.