Primary tumour

Prostate Cancer

Adrenolytic agents

A group of drugs that reduces or stops the production of the hormone adrenaline.

Anaemia

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.

Anaesthesia (general, spinal, or local)

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.

Androgens

Male sex hormones that control and provide male characteristics like facial hair and lower voice.

Anti-androgen drug

Any drug that blocks the action of androgens.

Asymptomatic

Any condition which does not cause symptoms and is discovered incidentally.

Benign enlargement

Cell growth in the body which is not cancerous.

Benign Prostatic Enlargement (BPE)

An enlargement of the prostate related to hormonal changes with age.

Biopsy

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.

Bladder

Organ which collects urine from the kidneys.

Bladder neck

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.

Bone scan

A scan of the entire body that can be used to find bone metastases.

Brachytherapy

Sometimes called seed implantation. Radioactive “seeds” are carefully placed inside of the cancerous tissue and positioned to attack the cancer most efficiently.

Cardiologist

A doctor who specializes in cardiovascular diseases.

Cardiovascular disease

A disease involving the heart and the blood vessels.

Castration

A chemical or surgical treatment in which the production of androgens is stopped, or the effect of the hormones is blocked.

Castration-resistant prostate cancer

A type of prostate cancer that needs lower levels of androgens to continue to grow.

Catheter

A hollow flexible tube to insert or drain fluids from the body. In urology, catheters are generally used to drain urine from the bladder.

Chemical castration

A type of treatment in which drugs are used to stop the production of androgens, or block their effect.

Chemotherapy

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.

Clinical trial

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.

Conservative management

A type of treatment in which the doctor monitors your health and can recommend treatment if necessary.

CSAP

Cryosurgical ablation of the prostate. In this minimally-invasive technique, freezing temperatures are applied directly to the tumour cells to kill them.

CT scan

CT stands for Computed Tomography. It is an imaging technique that makes a series of x-ray images of the body.

Depot injections

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.

Digital rectal examination

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.

Enzyme

Large biological molecules that are responsible for the processes of the metabolism.

Erectile dysfunction

The inability to get or keep an erection.

Fatigue

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.

Flare

When testosterone levels increase before decreasing as a result of hormonal drug therapy with LHRH agonist drugs.

Focal therapy

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.

Fractionated

In radiology, the act of dividing the dose of radiation into smaller doses with one or more rest periods in between.

Gland

A gland is an organ that synthesizes hormones for release into the bloodstream or other parts of the body.

Gleason score

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.

Gynecomastia

A hormonal disorder in which men have benign enlargement of breast tissue.

HIFU

High-Intensity Focussed Ultrasound. A minimally-invasive procedure that applies ultrasound energy to heat up and destroy cancer cells.

Hormonal therapy

Any treatment option in which hormones are used.

Hormones

Molecules that are produced in glands and circulate in the blood system to reach their target organs. They affect body functions and behaviour.

Hot flushes

A medical condition characterized by redness of the skin, sweating and a sudden feeling of inner heat.

Imaging

Taking images of the body with ultrasound, x-ray or other scanning techniques.

Immunotherapy

A type of cancer treatment which boosts the immune system to fight tumour cells.

Laparoscopic surgery

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.

LHRH agonists

Drugs used in prostate cancer treatment to stop the production of testosterone in the testicles.

LHRH antagonists

Drugs used in prostate cancer treatment to stop the production of testosterone, by inhibiting the production of androgens.

Lobes

A lobe is any division or extension of an organ that is clearly visible without using a microscope.

Localized prostate cancer

A prostate cancer where the tumour is limited to the prostate and has not spread.

Locally-advanced kidney cancer

A cancer where the tumour has grown out of the kidneys into surrounding tissue and invaded veins, the adrenal gland, or lymph nodes.

LUTS

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).

Lymph nodes

Small oval-shaped organs that play a role in regulating how the immune system responds.

Lymphorrhea

Leakage of lymph fluid onto the skin. The fluid leads to skin damage, and may cause an infection.

Malignant tumour

A cancerous growth which either grows continuously or in spurts. Malignant tumours can metastasize, which means they spread throughout the body.

Mammary glands

Glands located in the breasts. In women, the mammary glands can produce milk.

Medical history

A brief summary of previous operations, previous and current diseases, known allergies, and drugs you currently take.

Medical oncologist

A doctor who specializes in all types of cancer and mostly uses drugs to treat them.

Metastatic disease

When a tumour has spread to other organs or lymph nodes.

MRI scan

Magnetic Resonance Imaging is a technique in which strong magnetic fields and radio waves are used to make images of the body.

Multidisciplinary

A combination of different branches of expertise. In medicine, it means that for instance urologists, oncologists, psychologists or other medical specialists work together.

New hormonal agents

A group of drugs for castration-resistant prostate cancer when standard hormonal treatment is no longer effective.

Oestrogen

The main female sex hormones which control female characteristics of the body and are important to the reproductive and menstrual cycle.

Open surgery

A surgical procedure in which the surgeon cuts skin and tissues to have direct access to the structures or organs.

Orchiectomy

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.

Osteoporosis

A bone disease characterized by a reduction of bone mass.

Palliative care

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.

Pathologist

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.

Penis

A reproductive organ in men which also carries urine out of the body.

Perineum

The area between the anus and the scrotum or vulva.

Peripheral oedema

Oedema means swelling. Peripheral oedema refers specifically to swelling of the ankles and legs.

PET scan

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.

Physical

Having to do with or affecting the body.

Primary tumour

The malignant cell growth located where the tumour first began to develop.

Prognosis

The medical term for predicting the likely outcome of health after treatment.

Prostate

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.

Prostate-specific antigen (PSA)

A protein produced by the prostate which may increase in men with a benign prostatic enlargement, prostatic inflammation, or prostate cancer.

Prostatectomy

A surgical procedure in which part of or the entire prostate is removed.

PSA testing

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.

Psychological

Having to do with or affecting the mind.

Radiation oncologist

A specialist who uses radiation therapy to treat cancer.

Radiation therapy

A type of cancer treatment that uses radiation to control or kill malignant cells.

Rectum

The final section of the large intestine, ending at the anus.

Recurrence

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.

Risk stratification

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.

Salvage

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.

Seminal vesicles

A pair of glands located below the bladder. They produce semen.

Spinal cord compression

An emergency condition where a tumour or bone fragment puts pressure on the nerves in the spinal cord.

Steroid drug

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.

Stress urinary incontinence (SUI)

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.

Surgical robot system

An instrument to help doctors perform laparoscopic surgery. The surgeon controls the robotic instrument with remote control sensors.

Symptom-guided treatment

Closely monitoring a patient’s condition but postponing therapy until symptoms appear or change.

Testicles

The testicles are the male organs that produce sperm and the male hormone testosterone.

Testosterone

A steroid androgen hormone that is produced mainly in the testicles and is responsible for the development of male sexual characteristics.

TNM classification

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).

Treatment pathway

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.

Tumour spillage

When tumour cells reach the blood or another organ during surgery. These cells may grow in a different location and develop into tumours.

Ultrasound

Imaging technique that uses high-frequency sounds to make an image of the inside of the body.

Ureter

One of the two tubes through which urine flows from the kidneys to the bladder.

Urinary frequency

The need to urinate more often than usual, generally more than 8 times a day.

Urinary incontinence

Involuntary loss of urine.

Urinary sphincter

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.

Urinary tract

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.

Urologist

A doctor specialized in health and diseases of the urinary tract and the genitals.

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