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Prostate Cancer: Glossary


Testes (testicles): a pair of rounded glands that lie in the scrotum that produce sperm for reproduction and the hormone testosterone.

Testosterone: the male sex hormone produced by the testes.

Thermotherapy: See transurethral microwave thermotherapy (TUMT).

Transurethral incision of the prostate (TUIP): surgical treatment for benign prostate enlargement. An instrument passed through the urethra makes cuts in the prostate to clear any blockages, but does not remove tissue.

Transurethral microwave thermotherapy (TUMT): also called transurethral hyperthermia. Used to treat benign enlargement of the prostate. During this procedure, microwave energy delivers temperatures above 45 degrees C (113 degrees Fahrenheit) to the prostate by way of an antenna positioned in the prostate using a special catheter.

Transrectal ultrasonography: See ultrasound, prostate.

Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP): surgical removal of the tissue blocking the urethra, with no external skin incision. This is the most common treatment for symptomatic benign enlargement of the prostate.

Trocar: sharp, pointed instrument used to make a puncture incision in the abdominal wall. Used for placement of cannulas.

Tumor: an abnormal mass of tissue.


Ultrasound: a test used to diagnose a wide range of diseases and conditions. High-frequency sound waves, inaudible to the human ear, are transmitted through body tissues. The echoes vary according to the tissue density. The echoes are recorded and translated into video or photographic images that are displayed on a monitor.

Ultrasound, prostate: also called transrectal ultrasound. A probe about the size of a finger is inserted a short distance into the rectum. This probe produces harmless high-frequency sound waves, inaudible to the human ear, that bounce off the surface of the prostate. The sound waves are recorded and transformed into video or photographic images of the prostate gland. The probe can provide images at different angles to help the doctor estimate the size of the prostate and detect any abnormal growths or lesions.

Urethra: the tube that carries urine (from the bladder) and semen (from the prostate and other sex glands) out through the tip of the penis.

Urethral stricture: a narrowing or blockage of the canal leading to the bladder, discharging the urine externally.

Urethritis: inflammation of the urethra, which may be due to infection

Urinalysis: a test that evaluates a urine sample to detect abnormalities. Urinalysis is important for diagnosing prostatitis, urinary infections, bladder and kidney cancer, diabetes and other conditions.

Urinary catheter: See catheter.

Urinary tract: the path that urine takes as it leaves the body. It includes the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra.

Urinary tract infection: an infection of the urinary tract, usually caused by bacteria. The infection most often occurs in the urethra and bladder. It can also travel from the bladder into the ureter and kidneys.

Urination: discharge of liquid waste from the body.

WebMD Medical Reference

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