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Prostate Cancer: Glossary

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Intracavernous injection therapy: injection of medication into the penis to treat impotence. This type of therapy can be effective and successful for patients who have undergone radical prostatectomy (removal of the prostate) or who have received radiation therapy to treat prostate cancer. The overall success rate with injection therapy is up to 80%.

Intraurethral Therapy (such as medicated urethral system for erection or Muse) : medication taken as a suppository placed in the urinary tube (urethra) to treat impotence. The medicine relaxes the muscle in the erection chamber, allowing improved blood flow into the penis and resulting in an erection.

Incontinence, urinary: loss of urinary control. Incontinence may be complete or partial and can result from prostate surgery or radiation therapy for prostate cancer.

 Laparoscopic surgery (laparoscopy): a method of surgery that is less invasive than traditional surgery. Tiny incisions are made to create a passageway for a special instrument called a laparoscope. This thin telescope-like instrument with a miniature video camera and light source is used to transmit images to a video monitor. The surgeon watches the video screen while performing the procedure with small instruments that pass through small tubes placed in the incisions.

Laser surgery: destruction of tissue using a small, powerful, highly focused beam of light.

Local therapy: treatment that affects cells in the tumor and the area close to it.

Localized cancer: cancer that hasn't spread to other parts of the body. Localized prostate cancer is confined to the prostate.

Luteinizing hormone releasing hormone (LHRH) analog: a drug that blocks the production of testosterone by the testes to help stop tumor growth. These drugs carry a small risk of triggering diabetes, heart disease, and/or stroke. Before starting one of these drugs, patients should tell their doctor if they have a history of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, heart attack, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or cigarette smoking.  

Lymph: clear fluid that travels through the lymphatic system and carries cells that help fight infection and disease.

Lymph nodes: small glands located in many areas of the body that help defend the body against harmful foreign substances.

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