Glossary

adjuvant treatment – a treatment that is done along with the main treatment or after it

anaesthetic (local or general) – a medication given to stop a person feeling pain. A local anaesthetic numbs part of the body; a general anaesthetic causes temporary loss of consciousness

benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) – a non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate gland

benign tumour – a tumour that is not malignant, not cancerous and won’t spread to other parts of the body

biopsy – the removal of a small sample of tissue from the body for examination under a microscope to help in diagnosing a disease

bladder – a hollow organ in the body that stores urine

cells – the ‘building blocks’ of the body. A human is made of millions of cells, which are adapted for different functions. Cells are able to reproduce themselves exactly, unless they are abnormal or damaged, as are cancer cells

diagnosis – the act of identifying a disease from its signs and symptoms

diarrhoea – loose, watery bowel movements

ejaculation – the discharge of semen from the male reproductive tract (the penis)

gland – an organ that produces and releases substances directly into the bloodstream (such as hormones) that perform specific functions in the body, such as endocrine glands

Gleason score – a system for grading prostate cancer tumours according to size and appearance

grading – refers to the differentiation of cancer cells when examined under a microscope

hormones – special chemical messengers in the body created in the endocrine glands, which control most major body functions

immune system the body’s natural defence system

infertility – inability to have children

inflammation – where a part of the body becomes red, swollen, hot and often painful, often as a reaction to injury or infection

lymphatic system/lymph nodes/lymph vessels/lymph glands – the lymphatic system is a network of very thin lymph vessels, which connects the major lymph glands in the abdomen, pelvis, groin, neck and armpits. The lymphatic system drains away fluid waste products and damaged cells, and contains cells that fight infection

mestastases – when cancer has spread from the original site to another part of the body. It can also be called secondary cancer.

neo-adjuvant treatment – a treatment that is done before the main treatment to enhance the other treatment

perineum - the area between the anus and the scrotum or vulva

prostate-specific antigen (PSA) – a protein normally produced by prostate cells. Tests of PSA levels are used in the diagnoses and monitoring of prostate cancer. This involves a simple blood test

protein – these are key parts of body tissue that can also serve as a nutrient source for the body.

radiation treatment – the use of particular forms of radiation, usually X-rays or gamma rays, to kill cancer cells

rectum – the last 12–15 centimetres of the large bowel leading to the outside of the body

symptom – a warning sign or indicator of a disease

testicles – two egg-shaped glands that produce semen and sex hormones

testosterone – a male sex hormone produced by the testes, which stimulates male sexual activity and the growth of other sex organs including the prostate

tumour – a new or abnormal growth of tissue in or on the body, which may be benign or malignant

ultrasound – a scan that uses soundwaves to create a picture of the inside of a body

urethra – a tube that carries urine from the bladder and semen from the sex glands to the outside of the body via the penis

urinary catheter – an artificial tube inserted to drain urine from the bladder into a collecting bag

urinary incontinence – loss of bladder control, or urinary leaking

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