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Prostate Cancer: Glossary

Abscess: a collection of pus caused by a bacterial infection.

Acid phosphatase: an older blood test for an enzyme produced primarily in the prostate. High levels may indicate the presence or spread of prostate cancer.

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Prostate Cancer: When Treatment Can Wait

Prostate cancer can grow very slowly. In some men, it can grow so slowly they may never need treatment. But doctors still want to keep an eye on the cancer so they can take action if it gets worse. This approach is known as active surveillance or watchful waiting. Your doctor may have suggested these options instead of other treatment for a few reasons: Your age Other health conditions you have, such as heart disease, diabetes, or long-lasting high blood pressure Risks and side effects...

Read the Prostate Cancer: When Treatment Can Wait article > >

Acute: abrupt onset of a medical condition that is usually severe; happens for a limited period of time.

Acute bacterial prostatitis: also called infectious prostatitis, a bacterial infection of the prostate gland that causes inflammation and swelling of the prostate. Acute bacterial prostatitis requires prompt treatment as the condition can lead to cystitis, abscesses in the prostate, or blocked urine flow in extreme cases. In some cases, acute prostatitis requires hospitalization.

Adjuvant therapy: treatment provided in addition to the primary treatment to prevent cancer recurrence.

Adrenal glands: two glands that sit on top of the kidneys that make and release hormones such as epinephrine (adrenaline), which raises heart rate and blood pressure; norepinephrine, which causes constriction of blood vessels; and steroid hormones, including cortisone, which help reduce inflammation and control how the body utilizes fat, protein, carbohydrates, and minerals. Other steroid hormones produced in the adrenal gland are called androgens, or male sex hormones.

Adverse effect: negative or harmful effect.

Alpha-adrenergic blocker: class of drugs used to treat benign (noncancerous) prostate enlargement. These medications tend to relax the prostate muscles and improve urine flow. They are also used to treat hypertension.

Analgesic: medicine used to relieve pain.

Androgen: a hormone, such as testosterone and androsterone, responsible for the development of male sex characteristics.

Anemia: a condition when blood is deficient in one of three ways: 1) not enough red blood cells, 2) hemoglobin, or 3) total volume of blood. Hemoglobin is a substance in the red blood cells that enables the blood to transport oxygen through the body.

Antegrade ejaculation: normal forward ejaculation.

Antiandrogen drug: any medication that reduces or blocks the normal activity of an androgen hormone.

Antibiotic: medication used to treat bacterial infection.

Anti-inflammatory: medication used to reduce pain, swelling, or other irritation, often caused by prostatitis.

Antimicrobial: a drug that kills bacteria or prevents them from multiplying; antibiotics are naturally occurring antimicrobials. Antimicrobial medications are used to treat acute infectious prostatitis and chronic prostatitis.

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