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Prostate Cancer: Glossary


Lymphatic system: a circulatory system that includes an extensive network of lymph vessels and lymph nodes throughout the body. The lymphatic system helps coordinate the immune system's function to protect the body from foreign substances.

MRI: a test that produces images of the body without the use of X-rays. MRI uses a large magnet, radio waves, and a computer to produce these images. MRI may be used to examine the prostate and nearby lymph nodes to distinguish between benign (noncancerous) and malignant lesions.

Male infertility: diminished or absent ability to produce offspring.

Malignant: cancerous; can spread to other parts of the body.

Metastasize: to spread from one part of the body to another.

Nonbacterial prostatitis: the type of prostatitis that occurs when no definite infectious cause can be identified. Men with nonbacterial prostatitis often have a number of white blood cells (associated with infection) in their urine, but no bacteria are found.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): a class of drugs effective for reducing inflammation and pain without steroids. Examples of these drugs include aspirin, naproxen, and ibuprofen.

Obstruction: a clog or blockage that prevents fluid from flowing easily.

Occult blood: Blood in the stool that is not always visible to the naked eye. This type of bleeding is detected by performing a laboratory test on a stool sample.

Oncologist: a doctor who specializes in the medical treatment of cancer. Medical oncologists have a thorough knowledge of how cancers behave and grow. This knowledge is used to calculate your risk of recurrence as well as the possible need for and benefits of additional or adjuvant therapy (such as chemotherapy or hormonal therapy).Your medical oncologist generally manages your overall medical care and monitors your general health during your course of treatment. He or she checks your progress frequently, reviews your lab and X-ray results, and coordinates your medical care before and after your course of treatment.

Oncologist, radiation: a doctor trained in cancer treatment using radiation therapy.

Oncologist, surgical: a doctor who performs biopsies and other surgical procedures specifically related to cancer.

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