Glossary

Kidney Cancer

Abdominal cavity

The space in the body that contains all the abdominal organs (including bladder, kidneys, urinary tract, genital structures)

Abdominal wall

The muscle and tissue that surrounds the abdominal cavity

Ablation therapy

A type of minimally-invasive procedure to remove abnormal tissue. The doctor destroys the abnormal tissue using heat (radiofrequency ablation) or extreme cold (cryoablation).

Active surveillance

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.

Active treatment

Procedures to remove a kidney or ureteral stone.

Adenocarcinoma

A type of cancer that starts in and has features of glandular cells

Adjuvant therapy

A therapy that is given after surgery or radiotherapy (for example, chemotherapy)

Adrenal gland

The adrenal glands are organs that sit at the top of the kidneys. They are responsible for releasing hormones.

Adrenalectomy

The surgical procedure in which the adrenal gland is removed.

Advanced cancer

A tumour that grows into deeper layers of tissue, adjacent organs, or surrounding muscles.

Agglutination

Adhesions of the foreskin to the glans that tend to resolve spontaneously.

Amyloidosis

A disease that occurs when a substance called amyloid builds up in your organs. Amyloid is an abnormal protein that is usually produced in your bone marrow and can be deposited in any tissue or organ.

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.

Androgen

Group of steroid hormones, represented mainly by testosterone

Artery embolisation

Temporary block of the vessels supplying blood to the penis.

Aspiration

The process of drawing a substance (eg, blood) from the body.

Asymptomatic

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

Benign enlargement

Cell growth in the body which is not cancerous.

Bimanual examination

An examination of the abdomen or pelvis performed with both hands.

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.

Boutonniere

A surgically created opening for the urethra in the perineum.

Buried penis

The penis is not visible or is inside the skin.

Cancer

Abnormal cell growth in the skin or organ tissue

Carcinoma

A cancer that arises from lining cells (epithelia)

Carcinoma in situ (CIS)

A type of squamous cell cancer that affects only the cells in the skin and has not grown any deeper.

Cardiovascular

Relating to the circulatory system, which comprises the heart and blood vessels and carries nutrients and oxygen to the tissues of the body and removes carbon dioxide and other wastes from them.

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.

Chronic infection

An infection that lasts over a long period of time.

Circumcision

Surgical removal of the foreskin of the penis

Clear cell renal cell carcinoma

A type of kidney tumour with a high content of fat.

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.

Collagen

Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body. It helps connective tissue to be strong and provides cushioning for various parts of the body.

Congenital

A condition existing before birth that is due to different causes.

Contrast agent

A substance that increases the contrast of structures or fluids in the body. It is used in medical imaging (See also Imaging).

Corpus cavernosa

Two chambers that run the length of the penis and are filled with spongy tissue. Blood flows in and fills the open spaces in this spongy tissue to create an erection.

Corpus cavernosum (plural, corpora cavernosa)

Two chambers that run the length of the penis and are filled with spongy tissue. Blood flows in and fills the open spaces in this spongy tissue to create an erection.

Corpus spongiosum

The mass of spongy tissue surrounding the male urethra within the penis.

Cryotherapy

Is the use of low temperatures in medical therapy, to treat either benign or malignant cell growth.

Cryptorchidism

An absence of one or both testes in the scrotum.

CT urography

CT stands for computed tomography. CT urography is an imaging technique that uses contrast agent to improve the visibility of the lymph nodes and abdominal organs during the CT scan.

CUP

Cancer of Unknown Primary; a cancer with metastasis and without known primary cancer.

Curvature

Any normal or abnormal curving of a body part.

Cytoreductive nephrectomy

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.

Diabetes

A disorder of the metabolism causing excessive thirst and the production of large amounts of urine.

Diagnosis

The doctor and nurses do a series of tests to understand what causes your symptoms.

Distant metastases

Tumours that have spread from the original site to other organs or bone.

Diverticulum

A pouch that develops in a tubular structure in the body, such as the urethra.

Doppler ultrasound

A noninvasive test that can be used to estimate your blood flow through blood vessels by bouncing high-frequency sound waves (ultrasound) off circulating red blood cells.

Dupuytren’s contracture

A condition that affects the hands and fingers (also called Dupuytren’s disease). It causes one or more fingers to bend into the palm of the hand. It can affect one or both hands and sometimes affects the thumb.

Ecchymosis

Subcutaneous bleeding, hematoma.

Ectopic testis

The testis descended outside the scrotum

Embolization

A non-surgical, minimally-invasive procedure in which a blood vessel is blocked to prevent the blood flow from reaching a tumour.

Embryologic structure

A tissue or structure formed during development of an embryo

Endocrinological evaluation

Measures of the levels of certain hormones produced by your body.

Enzyme

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

Epididymis

Cord-like structure on the top and back of each testicle that carries sperm to the urethra for ejaculation.

Fabry’s disease

Abnormal deposits of a fatty substance called globotriaosylceramide in blood vessel walls throughout the body.

Fascia

A flat band of tissue below the skin that covers underlying tissues and separates different layers of tissue. Fascia also encloses muscles.

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.

Fatty tissue

A type of connective tissue made of cells which store fat. Also called adipose tissue.

Fertility rate

The number of offspring born per mating pair, individual, or population.

Fibrosis

Fibrosis is the formation of excess fibrous connective tissue in an organ or tissue in a reparative or reactive process.

Follicle-stimulating hormone

Follicle stimulating hormone secreted by pituitary gland. In men stimulates testes to sperm production.

Fuhrman nuclear grade

Analysing the aggressiveness of a tumour based on the structure of its cells.

Gene

A certain area on a chromosome as a matrix for a certain cell component.

General anaesthesia

The state when the patient is completely unconscious and unable to feel pain during medical procedures.

Genetic evaluation

Investigation of the influence of genes on diseases

Glansectomy

Removal of just the head of the penis.

Haematocrit

Measures how much space in the blood is occupied by red blood cells (percentage volume).

Haematogenous metasis

Cancer cells which have spread over the blood stream and formed a metastasis.

Haematology

The diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the blood.

Hand-foot syndrome

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.

Hemochromatosis

Too much iron in the blood can cause testicular failure or pituitary gland dysfunction, by accumulating in this tissue.

Histiocytosis

Histiocytosis is a general name for a group of disorders or “syndromes” that involve an abnormal increase in the number of specialized white blood cells that are called histiocytes.

Histologic examination

Examination of tissue cells under a microscope.

Histological evaluation

The examination of tissue under a microscope.

Histopathological analysis

The examination of tissue under a microscope, to study the presence and characteristics of diseases such as cancer.

HPV infection

Infection with Human Papillomavirus (HPV), which is a sexually transmitted disease; some types of HPV can cause cancer.

Hypospadias

An abnormality of the urethra (tube that the urine flows through out of the penis) that is present at birth. The urethra opens on the underside of the penis instead of at the tip.

Hypothalamus

Small part at the base of the brain that links nervous system with the endocrine system by the pituitary gland.

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.

Infertility

When a couple who has unprotected intercourse for a period of two years cannot conceive a baby.

Intramuscular injections

Injections into the muscle often in the buttock or your arm.

Intravenous

Injection into a vein, usually in the arm.

Irrigation

Injection of a solution into the body to cleanse and administer drugs at a specific site.

Ischemia

A restriction in blood supply to tissues, causing a shortage of oxygen and glucose needed to keep tissue alive. Ischemia is generally caused by problems with blood vessels and causes damage to tissue.

JJ-stent

A tube that is temporarily placed in the ureter to make sure urine can flow from the kidney to the bladder.

Kidneys

Two bean-shaped organs in the back of the abdomen that filter the blood and produce urine.

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.

Laparoscopy

A surgical procedure used to examine and operate the organs in the abdominal cavity

Laser therapy

Use of a laser to cut away cancer cells.

Leukaemia

A cancer that arises from the blood-forming tissue.

Local invasion

Cancer that has grown into the tissue surrounding the location where it started.

Local resection

Surgery to remove a tumour that has not spread to other tissues or organs.

Localised disease

A tumour that is limited to the organ where it started and has not spread.

Localized cancer

Cancer that remains in the location where it started.

Localized kidney cancer

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

Locally advanced disease

A tumour that has grown out of the organ where it started into the surrounding tissue or lymph nodes.

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.

Luteinizing hormone (LH)

Luteinizing hormone secreted by pituitary gland. In men stimulates testes to testosterone production.

Lymph node metastatis

Cancer cells which have spread over the lymphatic system and formed a metastasis in a lymph node.

Lymph nodes

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

Lymphadenectomy

The surgical procedure in which the lymph nodes are removed because they are enlarged due to the presence of a tumour.

Lymphoma

A cancer that arises from white blood cells (lymphocytes).

Macroscopy

What you can see with the naked eye.

Malignant tumour

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

Melanoma

A cancer that arises from pigmented cells (melanocytes).

Metastasectomy

The surgical procedure to remove metastases. These are tumours that have spread to other organs of the body.

Metastases

Cancer cells that have spread from the original site of cancer to other tissues or organs.

Metastasis

The spread of cancer from one site in the body to another without direct connection between both sites.

Metastatic disease

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

Micrometastasis

A metastasis that is not visible to the naked eye or on special imaging studies usually made up from only few cancer cells.

Microscopy

What you can see through a microscope.

Minimally-invasive surgery

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.

Molecular

Regarding molecules (the smallest particles).

Molecular techniques

Methods to get information about the molecules, for example of the genes.

MRI

Magnetic Resonance Imaging is an imaging technique that uses strong magnetic fields and radio waves to make images of the body.

MRI scan

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

Mucinous histology

Mucus-producing cells that can be found in histologic examination under the microscope or by using a specific colouring test.

Mucosa

A mucous tissue lining.

Mucusuria

Mucus in the urine.

Multidisciplinary

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

Multidisciplinary tumour board

A team of practitioners from different medical specialties who share their professional opinions to plan care for individual cancer patients.

Mumps infection

It is a contagious viral infection of the salivary gland with fever, headache and swelling of the salivary gland in the cheeks.

Neoangiogenesis

The process through which new blood vessels form from pre-existing vessels. In cancer this process allows tumours to grow.

Neobladder

A substitute reservoir to hold urine after the bladder is removed.

Neomeatus

A surgically created opening for the urethra in the penile shaft.

Neoplasm

New abnormal growth of tissue.

Nephron-sparing surgery

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.

Non-seminoma

A type of testicular cancer that usually affects younger men and is more likely to grow and spread quickly.

Oncologist

A medical professional who is dedicated to the diagnosis, therapy, follow-up and general care of a person with any type of cancer.

Open surgery

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

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.

Paraesthesia

A prickling (“pins and needles”) or tingling (“falling asleep”) sensation of the skin.

Paraneoplastic syndromes

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.

Paraphimosis

The foreskin stuck in the retracted position behind the head of the penis. It is considered a medical emergency that requires immediate attention.

Partial nephrectomy

A surgical procedure in which a part of the kidney is removed.

Paternity

The actual potential of fatherhood.

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.

Pelvic lymph nodes

The sum of lymph nodes collecting the lymphatic drainage of the legs, pelvis and pelvic organs.

Penectomy

Surgical removal of part (partial) or all (total) of the penis.

Perinephric haematoma

A collection of blood next to or around the kidney.

Perirenal fat

The fat that surrounds the kidney.

Petechia

Lots of tiny red spots or bruises on your arms and legs, caused by a minor haemorrhage in the blood vessels of the skin.

Phimosis

The inability to retract the foreskin over the head of the penis.

Pituitary gland

Small endocrine gland in the brain, originating in the hypothalamus, secreting a variety of hormones.

Plaque

An semi-hardened accumulation of substances from fluids that bathe an area. Examples include dental plaque and cholesterol plaque.

Primary cancer

The first type of cancer to develop, the cancer of origin.

Primary tumour

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

Primary urethral cancer

A malignant tumour in the urethra.

Prognosis

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

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.

Puberty

A natural process when a child’s body changes into adult body that is able to have an intercourse and reproduce.

PUVA

A type of chemotherapy (psoralens) combined with exposure to ultraviolet light, used to treat severe skin disorders.

Radiation therapy

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

Radical nephrectomy

A surgical procedure in which the entire kidney is removed.

Radiofrequency ablation

A medical procedure which uses the heat generated from high-frequency currents to treat kidney tumours.

Radiologist

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.

Radiotherapy

A type of therapy using radiation to kill cancer cells.

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.

Relapse

When a cancer has come back (Recurrence).

Remission

A state when there is no sign of cancer detectable.

Renal

Related to the kidneys.

Renal artery

The artery that carries a large portion of the blood flow that needs to be filtered to the kidneys.

Renal artery clamp

An instrument used during surgery. The blood flow through the renal artery is blocked with a device called a clamp that compresses the artery.

Renal cell carcinoma

Medical name of kidney cancer.

Renal cyst

Fluid-filled sacs located on the kidney. Cysts can be malignant.

Renal fascia

Also called Gerota’s fascia, it is a layer of connective tissue that surrounds the kidneys.

Renal vein

This is the vein that carries the blood filtered by the kidney back into the body.

Resection

Removal of tumours from an organ.

RPLND

Removal of the lymph nodes at the back of the abdomen (also called “Retroperitoneal Lymph Node Dissection” ). This surgery is considered for men with a high risk of cancer spreading. It might also be performed to remove any cancer that remains after chemotherapy.

Sarcoidosis

Inflammatory disease that affects different organs mainly lungs and lymph nodes. Collections of cells called granulomas can be found in affected tissue.

Sarcoma

A cancer that arises from other tissues in the body such as bone, cartilage, connective and fat tissue, muscle, nerves or vessels.

Secondary cancer

A tumour that grows from the metastasized cells of primary cancer.

Seminoma

A type of testicular cancer that can grow in men of any age but is less aggressive than non-seminoma.

Sentinel node

The lymph node closest to the tumour that would hold metastatic cells, if present.

Sex glands

In male: testes, in female: ovaries.

Sex hormones

In male androgens – group of steroid hormones, represented mainly by testosterone.

Sickle cell disease

A condition in which there are not enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen throughout the body.

Skin graft

A piece of skin taken from one part of the body and placed on another part (usually a wound).

Sleep apnea

Sleep disorder characterized by shallow breathing or pauses in breathing.

Sleep apnoea

Sleep disorder characterized by shallow breathing or pauses in breathing.

Spongy urethra

Spongy tissue surrounding the urethra.

Squamous cell carcinoma

Cancer that specifically affects epithelial cells.

Superficial cancer

A tumour that grows on the tissue surface without growing into deeper layers or adjacent organs. This type of cancer represents an early stage.

Surgical robot system

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

Systemic disease

Disease that affects the entire body.

Targeted therapy

These are drugs that target the mechanisms that cancer cells use to grow.

Testicular cancer

A growth called a tumour that starts in the testicle and can spread throughout the body.

Thalassemia

A blood disorder characterized by less haemoglobin and fewer red blood cells in the body than normal.

Thyroid

A gland found in the neck which controls how quickly the body uses energy, makes proteins and how sensitive it is to other hormones.

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.

Tuberculosis

A disease caused by breathing in a bacteria called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. TB usually infects the lungs. TB can also infect other parts of the body, including the kidneys, spine and brain.

Tumour

A growth of abnormal cells.

Tumour grade

The potential of a tumour to grow aggressively.

Tumour markers

High levels of certain proteins that suggest testicular cancer. Tumour markers are measured in a blood sample.

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.

Tumour stage

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.

Tunica albuginea

The whitish membrane within the penis that surrounds the spongy chambers (corpora cavernosa). The tunica albuginea helps trap blood in the corpora cavernosa, thereby sustaining erection of the penis.

TUR

TUR stands for Transurethral Resection. A tube-like instrument is used to remove tissue through the urethra (the canal through which the urine is passed).

Ultrasound

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

Umbilical discharge

Substance produced by the navel.

Urachal residues

Traces of the tissue or cells that formed the urachus before birth

Urachus

A tube-like embryologic structure that connects the forming urinary bladder and the navel before birth.

Ureter

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

Urethrectomy

Removal of the urethra. Removal can be partial or complete.

Urinary cytology

The examination of a urine sample for exfoliated cancer cells.

Urinary diversion

A surgical procedure to construct an alternative means of storing and passing urine.

Urinary stoma

An artificial opening for passing urine.

Urinary swab test

Also known as “urine dip test” or just a “urine test”. A test strip is dipped into collected urine to colour-indicate the pH level and the presence of electrolytes and cells.

Urinary tract

The organ system that 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, but the urethra is longer in men.

Urologist

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

Urothelial carcinoma

Typically occurs within the urinary tract and affects urothelial cells, as opposed to other types of cells in the urinary tract.

Vena Cava

The large vein that returns blood with low oxygen from the body into the heart.

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