Prostate Cancer Glossary of Terms

The following are health and medical definitions of terms that appear in the Prostate Cancer article.

Abdomen: The belly, that part of the body that contains all of the structures between the...

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Abdominal: Relating to the abdomen, the belly, that part of the body that contains all of ...

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Ablation: Removal or excision. Ablation is usually carried out surgically. For example, su...

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Abnormal: Outside the expected norm, or uncharacteristic of a particular patient.

Acute: Of abrupt onset, in reference to a disease. Acute often also connotes an illness th...

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Acute kidney failure: See: Acute renal failure.

Adenocarcinoma: A cancer that develops in the lining or inner surface of an organ and usua...

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Adjacent: Lying nearby. Related terms include superjacent, subjacent, and circumjacent. Fr...

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Agonist: A substance that acts like another substance and therefore stimulates an action. ...

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Alkaline phosphatase: An enzyme that liberates phosphate under alkaline conditions and is ...

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Ampulla: In anatomy, a sac-like enlargement of a canal or duct. The ampulla of Vater is th...

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Anatomy: The study of human or animal form, by observation or examination of the living be...

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Androgen: A male sex hormone that promotes the development and maintenance of the male s...

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Anemia: The condition of having a lower-than-normal number of red blood cells or quantity ...

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Anesthesia: Loss of feeling or awareness, as when an anesthetic is administered before sur...

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Anesthetic: A substance that causes lack of feeling or awareness, dulling pain to permit s...

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Antiandrogen: A drug that blocks the action of androgens (male sex hormones). Antiandrogen...

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Antibiotic: A drug used to treat bacterial infections. Antibiotics have no effect on viral...

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Antigen: A substance that the immune system perceives as being foreign or dangerous. The b...

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Autopsy: A postmortem examination. Also known as necropsy.

Baseline: Information or data gathered at the beginning of a period from which variations ...

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Benign: Not malignant. A benign tumor is one that does not invade surrounding tissue or sp...

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Benign prostatic hyperplasia: A common, noncancerous enlargement of the prostate gland. Th...

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Benign prostatic hypertrophy: See: Benign prostatic hyperplasia.

Bilateral: Affecting both sides. For example, bilateral arthritis affects joints on both t...

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Biopsy: The removal of a sample of tissue for examination under a microscope to check for ...

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Bladder: A hollow organ in the lower abdomen that stores urine. The kidneys filter waste f...

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Blood in the urine: Blood that appears in the urine. Also known as hematuria. Gross hematu...

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Body mass index: A key index for relating weight to height. Abbreviated BMI. BMI is a pers...

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Bone scan: A nuclear medicine technique for creating images of bones on a computer screen ...

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BPH: Benign prostatic hyperplasia, benign prostatic hypertrophy.

Brachytherapy: Radiation treatment given by placing radioactive material directly in or ne...

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Cadmium: A metallic element whose salts are toxic and cause cancer.

Cancer: An abnormal growth of cells which tend to proliferate in an uncontrolled way and, ...

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Cancer causes: In most individual cases of cancer, the exact cause of cancer is unknown. T...

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Cancer symptoms: Abnormal sensations or conditions that persons can notice that are a resu...

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Capsule: Capsule has many meanings in medicine including the following:

  1. In medici...

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Carcinogenic: Having a cancer-causing potential.

Carcinoma: Cancer that begins in the skin or in tissues that line or cover body organs. Ex...

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Cardiovascular: Relating to the circulatory system, which comprises the heart and blood ve...

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Castration: Removal or destruction of the sex glands. The term is usually used in referenc...

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CBC: A commonly used abbreviation in medicine that stands for complete blood count, a set...

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Cell: The basic structural and functional unit of any living thing. Each cell is a small c...

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Chemotherapy: 1. In the original sense, a chemical that binds to and specifically k...

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Chest: The area of the body located between the neck and the abdomen. The chest contains t...

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Chest X-ray: A type of X-ray commonly used to detect abnormalities in the lungs. A chest X...

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Chronic: In medicine, lasting a long time. A chronic condition is one that lasts 3 months ...

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Compression: 1. The act of pressing together. As in a compression fracture, nerve c...

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Computed tomography: An x-ray procedure that uses the help of a computer to produce a deta...

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Contrast: Short for "contrast media." Contrast media are X-ray dyes used to provide contra...

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Creatinine: A chemical waste molecule that is generated from muscle metabolism. Creatinine...

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Cryotherapy: Literally, "cold therapy." Cryotherapy, sometimes referred to as cryosurgery,...

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CT scan: Computed tomography scan. Detailed images of internal organs are obtained by this...

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Cure: 1. To heal, to make well, to restore to good health. 2. A time withou...

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Cuts: Severed skin. Washing a cut or scrape with soap and water and keeping it clean and d...

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Cystoscopy: A procedure in which a lighted optical instrument called a cystoscope is inser...

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Diagnosis: 1 The nature of a disease; the identification of an illness. 2 A ...

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Diarrhea: A common condition that involves unusually frequent and liquid bowel movements. ...

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Diethylstilbestrol: The earliest synthetic form of the female hormone estrogen. Abbreviate...

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Differentiation: 1 The process by which cells become progressively more specialize...

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Digital rectal exam: A routine exam in which a physician inserts a lubricated, gloved fing...

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Dihydrotestosterone: A byproduct of the male hormone testosterone. Dihydrotestosterone (DH...

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Dissection: The process of cutting apart or separating tissue as, for example, in the stud...

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Dysfunction: Difficult function or abnormal function.

Ejaculate: To ejaculate is to release semen during an orgasm in a male.

Ejaculation: Ejection of sperm and seminal fluid during an orgasm in a male.

Emboli: Something that travels through the bloodstream, lodges in a blood vessel and block...

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Emergency department: The department of a hospital responsible for the provision of medica...

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Enema: Liquid injected into the rectum. An enema may be used for therapeutic (such as to s...

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Enzyme: Proteins that speeds up the rate of a chemical reaction in a living organism. An e...

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Epidural: Outside the dura, the outermost, toughest, and most fibrous of the three membran...

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Erectile dysfunction: A consistent inability to sustain an erection sufficient for sexual ...

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Essential: In medicine, of unknown cause, as in essential hypertension (high blood pressur...

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Estrogen: A female steroid hormone that is produced by the ovaries and, in lesser amounts,...

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Family history: The family structure and relationships within the family, including inform...

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Father: (1) The male parent. (2) One who originates. For example, "Wilhelm Roentgen is con...

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Fatigue: A condition characterized by a lessened capacity for work and reduced efficiency ...

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Fats: Plural of the word "fat". See the definition of fat.

FDA: Food and Drug Administration.

Fever: Although a fever technically is any body temperature above the normal of 98.6 F (37...

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Fracture: A break in bone or cartilage. Although usually a result of trauma, a fracture ca...

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Gastrointestinal: Adjective referring collectively to the stomach and small and large inte...

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Genetic: Having to do with genes and genetic
information.

Gland: A group of cells that secrete a substance for use in the body. For example, the thy...

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Gleason score: A grading system for prostate carcinoma devised by Dr. Donald Gleason in 19...

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Groin: The area where the thigh meets the hip.

Hair loss: Hair loss is the thinning of hair on the scalp. The medical term for hair loss ...

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Heart: The muscle that pumps blood received from veins into arteries throughout the body. ...

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Heart disease: Any disorder that affects the heart. Sometimes the term "heart disease" is ...

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Hematuria: Blood in the urine. Hematuria may or may not be accompanied by pain, but it is...

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Heredity: The genetic transmission of characteristics from parent to child.

Hormone: A chemical substance produced in the body that controls and regulates the activit...

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Hormone therapy: Treatment of disease or symptoms with synthetic or naturally derived horm...

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Hot flashes: A sudden wave of mild or intense body heat caused by rushes of hormonal chang...

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Hydronephrosis: Distention of the kidney with urine. Hydronephrosis is caused by obstructi...

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Hyperplasia: An increase in the number of normal cells in a tissue or an organ. Hyperplasi...

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Hypertrophy: Enlargement or overgrowth of an organ or part of the body due to the increase...

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Immunotherapy: Treatment to stimulate or restore the ability of the immune (defense) syst...

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Impotence: A common problem among men characterized by the consistent inability to sustai...

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Incidence: The frequency with which something, such as a disease or trait, appears in a pa...

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Incision: A cut through skin or other tissue performed by a health care professional.

Incontinence: The inability to control excretions, to hold urine in the bladder, or to kee...

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Indicate: In medicine, to make a treatment or procedure advisable because of a particular ...

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Indication: 1. In medicine, a condition which makes a particular treatment or proce...

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Infection: The invasion and multiplication of microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, an...

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Inflammation: A localized reaction that produces redness, warmth, swelling, and pain as a ...

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Isotope: A form of a chemical element that has a different-from-normal atomic mass. Isotop...

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Kidney: One of a pair of organs located in the right and left side of the abdomen. The kid...

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Laparoscopic: 1. Pertaining to the procedure of laparoscopy.
2. Pert...

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Laparoscopy: A type of surgery in which small incisions are made in the abdominal wall thr...

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Lethal: Deadly.

Libido: 1. Sexual drive. 2. In psychoanalysis, the psychic energy from all ...

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Lifetime risk: The risk of developing a disease during ones lifetime or dying of the disea...

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Liver: The largest solid organ in the body, situated in the upper part of the abdomen on t...

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Lobe: Part of an organ that appears to be separate in some way from the rest. A lobe may b...

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Lung cancer: Cancer of the major organ of respiration - the lung. Lung cancer is one of th...

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Lungs: The lungs are a pair of breathing organs located with the chest which remove carbon...

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Luteinizing hormone: A gonadotropin (a hormone that affects the function of the sex organs...

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Lymph: The almost colorless fluid that travels through the lymphatic system, carrying cell...

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Lymph node: One of many small, bean-shaped organs located throughout the lymphatic system....

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Lymphatic: Pertaining to a small, thin channel that is similar to a blood vessel and that ...

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Lymphatic system: The tissues and organs, including the bone marrow, spleen, thymus, and l...

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Magnetic resonance imaging: A procedure that uses magnetism, radio waves, and a computer t...

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Malaise: A vague feeling of discomfort, one that cannot be pinned down but is often sensed...

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Male pelvis: The lower part of the abdomen that is located between the hip bones in a male...

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Malignancy: A tumor that is malignant (cancerous), that can invade and destroy nearby tiss...

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Malignant: 1. Tending to be severe and become progressively worse, as in malignant ...

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Mapping: Charting the location of genes on chromosomes.

Median: The middle, as in the median strip in a highway. For example, the median nerve is ...

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Medical history: 1. In clinical medicine, the patient's past and present which may ...

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Membranous: Pertaining to a membrane. As in acute membranous gingivitis, membranous nephro...

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Metastasis: 1. The process by which cancer spreads from the place at which it firs...

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Microscope: An optical instrument that augments the power of the eye to see small objects....

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Microscopic: An object so small it cannot be seen without the aid of microscope (for examp...

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Mortality: Susceptible to death.

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MRI: Magnetic resonance imaging.

Nausea: Stomach queasiness, the urge to vomit. Nausea can be brought on by many causes, in...

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Neck: The part of the body joining the head to the shoulders. Also, any narrow or constric...

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Nerve: A bundle of fibers that uses electrical and chemical signals to transmit sensory an...

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Node: Literally a knot, a node is a collection of tissue. For example a lymph node, is a ...

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Nutrition: 1: The process of taking in food and using it for growth, metabolism, and repai...

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Obesity: The state of being well above one's normal weight.

Obstruction: Blockage of a passageway. See, for example: Airway obstruction; Intestinal o...

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Oncologist: A physician who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. After a ...

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Operation: In medicine, a surgical procedure. Many operations are named after persons. The...

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Orchiectomy: Orchidectomy.

Organ: A relatively independent part of the body that carries out one or more special func...

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Osteoporosis: Thinning of the bones, with reduction in bone mass, due to depletion of calc...

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Ounce: A measure of weight equal to 1/16th of a pound or, metrically, 28.35 gra...

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Outpatient: A patient who is not hospitalized, but instead comes to a physician?s office, ...

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Oxygen: The odorless gas that is present in the air and necessary to maintain life. Oxygen...

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Pain: An unpleasant sensation that can range from mild, localized discomfort to agony. Pa...

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Palliation: To palliate a disease is to treat it partially and insofar as possible, but no...

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Palliative treatment: To palliate a disease is to treat it partially and insofar as possib...

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Palpable: Something that can be felt. For example, a palpable growth is one that can be de...

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Paralysis: Loss of voluntary movement (motor function). Paralysis that affects only one mu...

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Pathologic: 1. Indicative of or caused by disease, as in a pathologic fracture, pat...

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Pathologist: A physician who identifies diseases and conditions by studying abnormal cells...

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Pathology: The study of disease. Pathology has been defined as "that branch of medicine...

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Pelvic: Having to do with the pelvis, the lower part of the abdomen, located between the h...

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Pelvis: The lower part of the abdomen, located between the hip bones. Structures in the fe...

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Penile: Of or pertaining to the penis.

Penis: The external male sex organ. The penis contains two chambers, the corpora cavernosa...

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Perineal: Pertaining to the perineum.

Perioperative: Literally, around (the time of) surgery. More specifically, the period of t...

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Periphery: 1. The outside or surface of a structure; the portion outside the centr...

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PHS:The Public Health Service, the agency responsible for the public health of the America...

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Positron emission tomography: Unlike CT or MRI, which look at anatomy or body form, PET st...

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Preoperative: Before surgery. As opposed to postoperative, after surgery.

Primary tumor: A tumor that is at the original site where it first arose. For example, a p...

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Probe: 1: In surgery, a probe is a slender flexible rod with a blunt end used to explore, ...

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Prognosis: The forecast of the probable outcome or course of a disease; the patient's chan...

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Progressive: Increasing in scope or severity, advancing, or going forward. For example, a ...

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Prostate: A gland within the male reproductive system that is located just below the blad...

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Prostate cancer: A malignant tumor of the prostate, the gland that produces some of the co...

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Prostate enlargement: Most prostatic enlargement is due to benign prostatic hyperplasia (B...

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Prostate gland: A gland in the male reproductive system that is located just below the bla...

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Prostate specific antigen: Widely known as PSA. See: PSA.

Prostatectomy: Surgical removal of the prostate gland. Prostatectomy can be done through a...

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Prostatitis: Inflammation of the prostate gland. Prostatitis can result from infection or ...

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PSA: Prostate specific antigen. A test for PSA may be used to screen for cancer of the p...

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Pulmonary: Having to do with the lungs.

Quality of life: The patient's ability to enjoy normal life activities. Quality of life is...

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Radiation: 1. Rays of energy. Gamma rays and X-rays are two of the types of energy ...

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Radiation therapy: The use of high-energy rays to damage cancer cells, stopping them from ...

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Radical prostatectomy: A surgery procedure that removes the entire prostate gland plus som...

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Radioactive: Emitting energy waves due to decaying atomic nuclei. Radioactive substances a...

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Radionuclide: An unstable form of a chemical element that radioactively decays, resulting ...

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Radiotherapy: The treatment of disease with ionizing radiation. Also called radiation ther...

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Rectal cancer: A malignant tumor arising from the inner wall of the final part of the larg...

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Rectum: The last 6 to 8 inches of the large intestine. The rectum stores solid waste until...

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Recurrence: The return of a sign, symptom, or disease after a remission. The reappearance ...

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Regimen: A plan or a regulated course, such as a diet, exercise, or treatment, that is des...

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Reproductive system: In women, the organs that are directly involved in producing eggs and...

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Resection: Surgical removal of part of an organ.

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Resolution: In genetics, the degree of molecular detail on a physical map of DNA. Resoluti...

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Risk factor: Something that increases a person's chances of developing a disease. For exam...

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Rule out: Term used in medicine, meaning to eliminate or exclude something from considera...

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Sarcoma: One of a group of tumors usually arising from connective tissue. Most sarcomas ar...

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Scan: As a noun, the data or image obtained from the examination of organs or regions of...

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Selenium: An essential mineral that is a component of an antioxidant enzyme, glutathione r...

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Semen: The fluid that is released through the penis during orgasm. Semen is made up of flu...

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Seminal vesicle: One of two structures that are about 5 cm long and are located behind the...

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Sensation: In medicine and physiology, sensation refers to the registration of an incoming...

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Sentinel lymph node: The first lymph node to receive lymphatic drainage from a tumor. The ...

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Sequelae: See: Sequela.

Serum: The clear liquid that can be separated from clotted blood. Serum differs from plas...

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Skeleton: The skeleton is composed of bones and is the framework of the body.

Sperm: A sperm is the male "gamete" or sex cell. It combines with the female &qu...

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Spinal cord: The major column of nerve tissue that is connected to the brain and lies with...

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Spinal cord compression: The act of exerting an abnormal amount of pressure on the spinal...

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Spine: 1) The column of bone known as the vertebral column, which surrounds and protects ...

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Stage: As regards cancer, the extent of a cancer, especially whether the disease has spre...

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Staging: stagingDoing exams and tests to learn the extent of a cancer, especially whether ...

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Substance: 1. Material with particular features.
2. The material that...

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Surgeon: A physician who treats disease, injury, or deformity via operative or manual meth...

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Surgery: The branch of medicine that employs operations in the treatment of disease or inj...

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Symptom: Any subjective evidence of disease. In contrast, a sign is objective. Blood comin...

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Symptomatic: 1 With symptoms, as a symptomatic infection. 2 Characteristic o...

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Synthesis: Putting together different entities to make a whole which is new and different....

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Systemic: Affecting the entire body. A systemic disease such as diabetes can affect the wh...

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Systemic therapy: Treatment that reaches cells throughout the body by traveling through th...

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Tailbone: Popular name for the coccyx, the small bone at the bottom of the spine made up o...

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Testes: Plural of testis.

Testicles: The testicles (also called testes or gonads) are the male sex glands. They are ...

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Testosterone: A "male hormone" -- a sex hormone produced by the testes that encourages th...

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Therapeutic: Relating to therapeutics, the branch of medicine that is concerned specifical...

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Therapy: The treatment of disease. Therapy is synonymous with treatment.

Tomography: The process for generating a tomogram, a two-dimensional image of a slice or s...

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Transitional cell carcinoma: Cancer that develops in the lining of the renal pelvis, urete...

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Transurethral resection: Surgery to remove tissue using a special instrument inserted thro...

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Tumor: An abnormal mass of tissue. Tumors are a classic sign of inflammation, and can be ...

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Tumor grade: The degree of abnormality of cancer cells, a measure of differentiation, the ...

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Ultrasound: High-frequency sound waves. Ultra-sound waves can be bounced off tissues by us...

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Urethra: The tube that leads from the bladder and transports and discharges urine outside ...

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Urinary: Having to do with the function or anatomy of the kidneys, ureters, bladder, or ur...

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Urinary incontinence: The unintentional loss of urine. Inability to hold urine in the blad...

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Urinary tract: The organs of the body that produce, store, and discharge urine. These orga...

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Urinary tract infection: An infection of the kidney, ureter, bladder, or urethra. Abbrevia...

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Urine: Liquid waste produced by the kidneys. Urine is a clear, transparent fluid that norm...

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Urologist: A physician who specializes in diseases of the urinary organs in females and th...

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UTI: Urinary tract infection.

Vas deferens: The tube that connects the testes with the urethra. The vas deferens is a co...

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Vasectomy: A surgical procedure designed to make a man sterile by cutting or blocking both...

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Vein: A blood vessel that carries blood that is low in oxygen content from the body back t...

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Vertebrae: The preferred plural of vertebra. (The alternate plural is vertebras.) See also...

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Vesicle: In dermatology, a vesicle is a small blister, as on the skin. Vesicles also occur...

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Vesicles: In dermatology, vesicles are small blisters, most often on the skin. Vesicles al...

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Vital: Necessary to maintain life. For example, breathing is a vital function.

Vitamin C: An essential nutrient found mainly in fruits and vegetables. The body requires ...

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Vitamin E: Alpha-tocopherol, an antioxidant vitamin which binds oxygen free radicals that ...

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Watchful waiting: Closely monitoring a patient's condition but withholding therapy until t...

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Weight loss: Weight loss is a decrease in body weight resulting from either voluntary (die...

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X-ray: High-energy radiation with waves shorter than those of visible light. X-ray is used...

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Medical Dictionary