Active surveillance

Close monitoring of prostate cancer by a physician instead of immediate treatment.

Advanced prostate cancer

When prostate cancer spreads beyond the prostate gland to other parts of the body.

Atrophy

Wasting away of tissue in the body.

Biopsy

The removal of a small piece of tissue, which is then examined under a microscope.

Bladder

An organ that holds urine.

Cancer

A general term for a large group of diseases in which abnormal cells grow and spread throughout the body.

Diagnose

Identify a disease by its signs and symptoms and then confirm with tests.

Digital rectal exam (DRE)

A procedure in which the doctor inserts a gloved finger into the rectum to examine the prostate gland for enlargement or tenderness and signs of cancer.

Erectile dysfunction

The inability to have or maintain an erection; also called impotence.

Fatigue

Extreme tiredness.

Gleason score

A score (2–10) that helps doctors determine how aggressive prostate cancer is.

Hormonal therapy

The use of medications or surgical removal of the testicles to reduce male hormone stimulation of growth of prostate cancer.

Hormones

Chemicals secreted by glands that circulate in the bloodstream and produce specific effects on targeted organs and tissues.

Hot flashes

Rushes of warmth in the face, neck, upper chest, and back lasting for a few seconds to an hour. They may also cause increased sweating.

Impotence

The inability to have or maintain an erection; also known as erectile dysfunction.

Incontinence

The inability to control urine flow.

Infertility

The inability of a man or woman to conceive children.

Laparoscopic radical prostatectomy (LRP)

Prostate surgery using several small incisions.

Leuprolide acetate

The generic active pharmaceutical ingredient in ELIGARD (leuprolide acetate for injectable suspension).

Luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) agonist

A drug that lowers the amount of testosterone made by the testicles.

Lymph nodes

Small glands that help defend the body against harmful foreign particles.

Male hormones

Substances, such as testosterone, that stimulate specific cells.

Orchiectomy

Surgical removal of the testicles; also called surgical castration.

Prostate cancer

Cancer of the prostate gland. Prostate cancer can also spread to other parts of the body, such as lymph nodes, bone, and seminal vesicles.

Prostate gland

A walnut-sized gland that surrounds the male urethra, located between the bladder and the penis.

Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test

A blood test used to help detect and follow the course of prostate cancer.

Prostatectomy

Surgery to remove the prostate (see “Radical retropubic prostatectomy”).

Radiation therapy

The use of high-energy rays to kill cancer cells.

Radical retropubic prostatectomy

Surgery to remove the entire prostate gland along with nearby tissue, such as the seminal vesicles (see “Prostatectomy”).

Rectum

The final section of the intestines that ends at the anus.

Robotic-assisted LRP

A laparoscopic prostate surgery that employs robotic arms controlled by a surgeon.

Semen

The thick, whitish fluid released through the penis during orgasm. The prostate makes substances that are present in semen.

Seminal vesicles

A pair of glands near the prostate that add substances to semen.

Sperm

Male reproductive cells produced in the testicles.

Staging

Determining the extent and severity of a disease in a person.

Testicles

The pair of egg-shaped glands contained in the scrotum. They produce sperm and testosterone.

Testosterone

A male sex hormone produced mostly by the testicles, although a small amount is made by the adrenal glands.

Transrectal ultrasound (TRUS)

The use of ultrasound waves to visualize the prostate.

Urethra

The duct that carries urine from the bladder.