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Glossary of Terms

When it comes to your prostate health, knowledge is power. We at Dattoli Cancer Center understand that on your journey to acquire information about prostate cancer, related research, and various treatments, you will come across medical and scientific jargon that might need further explanation. Here we've provided a Glossary of Terms related to the topics of prostate health, prostate cancer, prostate cancer research and prostate cancer treatments and cures. You can search for a term numerically or alphabetically by selecting a character in the box below or simply scroll down through the list of terms and their corresponding definitions.

 

Active Surveillance
Closely monitoring a patient diagnosed with prostate cancer prior to some future possible treatment. Similar to "watchful waiting," monitoring typically involves annual biopsies and quarterly PSA blood tests. Treatment is undertaken when the biopsy results worsen, PSA rises or the patient decides he wants to pursue treatment.
Adenocarcinoma
A cancer originating in glandular tissue. Prostate cancer is classified as adenocarcinoma of the prostate.
Adjuvant
An additional treatment used to increase the effectiveness of the primary therapy. Radiation therapy and hormonal therapy are often used as adjuvant treatments following a radical prostatectomy.
Agonist
A chemical substance that combines with a receptor on a cell and initiates an activity or reaction. See LHRH analogs.
Algorithm
A step-by-step procedure for solving a problem or accomplishing some end, especially by a computer.
Alpha-Blockers
Drugs used to improve urination by relaxing the internal sphincter of the urethra.
Analog
A synthetic version of a drug or one of the body''s chemicals.
Androgen
A hormone that produces male characteristics. See testosterone
Androgen Deprivation Therapy
A therapy designed to inhibit the body's production of androgens (male hormones). See also Hormonal Therapy.
Androgen-dependent cells
Prostate cancer cells which are nourished by male hormones and therefore are capable of being destroyed by hormone deprivation (also known as androgen-sensitive cells).
Androgen-independent cells
Prostate cancer cells which are not dependent on male hormones and therefore do not respond to hormonal therapy (also known as androgen-insensitive cells).
Androgens
The male hormones, such as testosterone.
Anesthetic
A drug that produces general or local loss of physical sensations, particularly pain. A "spinal" is the injection of a local anesthetic into the area surrounding the spinal column.
Aneuploid
Having an abnormal number of chromosomes, as revealed by ploidy analysis. Aneuploid prostate cancer cells tend not to respond well to androgen deprivation therapy (ADT).
Angiogenesis
The body''s formation of new blood vessels. Some anti-cancer drugs work by blocking angiogenesis, thus preventing blood from reaching and nourishing a tumor.
Antagonist
A chemical substance in the body that acts to reduce the physiological activity of another chemical substance.
Anti-androgens
Drugs such as flutamide, that can block or neutralize the effects of testosterone and DHT on prostate cancer cells (by preventing testosterone and DHT from binding to the androgen receptor).
Antibody
A protein produced by the body that counteracts the toxic affects of a foreign substance, organism, or disease within the body.
Antigen
A foreign substance such as a virus or bacterium that causes an immune response or the formation of an antibody.
Antioxidants
Any substances which delay the process of oxidation.
Apoptosis
The normal molecular mechanism which governs the life span of cells so that they die in a very organized way. Cancerous cells are resistant to normal apoptosis.

Dattoli Cancer Center

2803 Fruitville Road : Sarasota, FL 34237
1-877-DATTOLI (328-8654)
941.957.1221 : 941.957.0038 (fax)