Glossary

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5-alpha reductase inhibitors
A medication used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and decrease the size of the prostate by blocking an enzyme that causes the prostate to grow.
Acute bacterial prostatitis
Inflammation of the prostate caused by bacteria that tends to come on suddenly and is often accompanied by a urinary tract infection.
Alpha-adrenergic receptor blockers
A medication used to treat BPH by blocking adrenergic nerve receptors in the lower urinary tract, helping to relax the smooth muscle of the prostate and bladder neck.
Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP)
A fetal blood protein that may present abnormally in adults with some forms of cancer.
Androgens
Male hormones that are responsible for the development of the prostate in a male fetus. Testosterone is the most common androgen.
Androgen-blocking agents
A hormonal therapy that prevents testosterone from attaching to prostate cells.
Anus
The external opening of the rectum.
Asymptomatic inflammatory prostatitis
Inflammation of the prostate that causes no symptoms, but infection-fighting white blood cells are present in the semen.
Balanitis
Inflammation or swelling of the foreskin or head of the penis.
Benign prostate disease
Non-cancerous condition affecting the prostate gland.
Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) (benign prostatic hypertrophy; benign prostatic obstruction; enlarged prostate)
A prostate condition, commonly affecting men over the age of 50, in which the prostate becomes enlarged and may cause pressure on or obstruction of the urethra.
Benign testicular disease
Non-cancerous condition affecting one or both testicles.
Biopsy
An examination of tissue removed from the body to discover the presence, cause, or extent of a disease.
Bladder
The organ in the pelvis that stores urine produced by the kidneys until it is excreted via urination.
Brachytherapy (internal radiation therapy)
A treatment for cancer in which radioactive material or seeds are placed inside the patient, directly in or near the tumor, to destroy or shrink cancer cells.
Cardiovascular disease
Any of a group of diseases that affect the heart or the vessels that carry blood throughout the body.
Chemical castration
Medication used to treat advanced prostate cancer by temporarily blocking the production of testosterone.
Chemotherapy
A single drug or a combination of drugs used to treat cancer. These drugs are designed to destroy cancer cells; however, chemotherapy also damages healthy cells, causing a variety of side effects.
Choriocarcinoma
A highly malignant subtype of nonseminoma, which is a type of germ cell cancer in the testicles.
Chronic bacterial prostatitis
Long-term inflammation of the prostate caused by bacterial infection.
Chronic nonbacterial prostatitis (chronic pelvic pain syndrome)
Chronic inflammation of the prostate not caused by bacterial infection.
Circumcision
The removal of the foreskin of the penis.
Computed tomography (CT) scan
A diagnostic imaging test that uses computers to create three-dimensional or cross-sectional images from a large series of two-dimensional x-ray images. CT Scans may be performed with or without oral or intravenous contrast dye to enhance visualization.
Convective radiofrequency water vapor thermal therapy
A minimally invasive procedure to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) that uses water vapor created by radiofreqency to destroy obstructing prostate tissue.
Corpora cavernosa
Two tubes of spongy tissue in the penis that fill with blood during sexual arousal, causing the penis to become erect.
Cryptorchidism (undescended testicle)
A condition in which one or both testicles fail to descend from the abdomen to the scrotum.

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Diabetes
A disease in which the body does not make sufficient insulin or does not use insulin effectively to absorb glucose into cells throughout the body, resulting in high blood glucose.
Digital rectal exam (DRE)
A diagnostic exam in which the provider inserts a gloved, lubricated finger into the patient's rectum in order to examine the rectal wall surface and the prostate for lesions, bumps, or other irregularities.
Dihydrotestosterone (DHT)
An androgen that is produced as a byproduct of testosterone, responsible for the development of many of the physical characteristics associated with adult males.
Ejaculation
The expulsion of semen from the penis during orgasm.
Embryonal carcinoma
A subtype of nonseminoma, which is a type of germ cell cancer in the testicles.
Epididymis
A coiled tube that lies on and behind each testicle, involved in the maturation, storage, and transportation of sperm cells produced in the testicles.
Epididymitis
Inflammation of the epididymis, often caused by bacterial infection.
Erectile dysfunction
The inability to achieve an erection or to maintain an erection until ejaculation.
Erection
The stiffening of the penis during sexual arousal.
External radiation therapy
A treatment for cancer in which radiation from a machine outside of the body is directed at a specific body region in order to destroy or shrink cancer cells.
Foreskin
A retractable roll of skin covering the end of the penis.
Germ cell tumors
The most common type of testicular cancer, originating in the cells that produce sperm. There are two types of germ cell tumors: seminomas and nonseminomas.
Gleason score
A system of grading prostate cancer tissue that indicates how likely it is that a tumor will spread.
Hormonal manipulation
A treatment for prostate cancer in which levels of testosterone are adjusted, either with medication or surgery, in order to prevent further growth and spread of cancer cells.
Human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG)
A protein in the blood that is often secreted as a result of testicular cancer.
Human papillomavirus (HPV)
A group of viruses that includes more than 150 different strains or types, many of which are sexually transmitted, and can infect the genital area of both men and women.
Hydrocele
A fluid-filled sac in the scrotum.
Hypogonadism
A condition in which the testicles do not produce an adequate supply of testosterone due to an abnormality in the testicles or a problem with the pituitary gland.

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Impotence
The inability of a male to perform sexual intercourse, usually because erection of the penis cannot be achieved or sustained.
Incontinence
An inability to control urination or defecation.
Inguinal hernia
A condition in which a part of the intestine drops into the scrotum.
Inguinal ring
The canal through which the testicles descend from the abdomen into the scrotum during fetal development.
Internal radiation therapy (brachytherapy)
A treatment for cancer in which radioactive material or seeds are placed inside the patient, directly in or near the tumor, to destroy or shrink cancer cells.
Ischemic priapism
A prolonged and painful erection that is caused by the inability of blood to leave the penis.
Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH)
One of a group of enzymes found in the blood and other body tissues. Elevated levels of LDH may indicate the presence of cancer.
Laparoscopy
A surgical technique that uses small incisions to insert a narrow, lighted tube (laparoscope) into the abdomen.
Laser surgery
A procedure used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) in which a laser is used to vaporize excess prostate tissue.
Leukemia
A cancer of blood-forming tissues, hindering the body's ability to fight infection.
Lichen sclerosus
A chronic condition that causes thin, white patches of skin, usually in the genital area.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
A diagnostic imaging test that uses a powerful magnet linked to a computer to make detailed pictures of internal organs and structures.
Malignant
Cancer that tends to invade and destroy nearby tissue and possibly spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body.
Metastasis
A stage of cancer in which cancer cells have broken away from the primary tumor and spread to other organs in the body through the bloodstream or the lymphatic system.
Moh's surgery
A precise surgical technique used to treat tumors found on the skin by progressively removing thin layers of cancer-containing skin until only cancer-free tissue remains.

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Nonischemic priapism
A prolonged erection caused by blood flow in the penis that is not appropriately regulated.
Nonseminoma
A type of germ cell cancer in the testicles. There are four subtypes of nonseminomas: embryonal carcinoma, teratoma, choriocarcinoma, and yolk sac carcinoma.
Open prostatectomy
A procedure in which the prostate is removed through a cut in the lower abdomen or between the anus and scrotum.
Orchiectomy
A surgical treatment for prostate cancer involving the removal of the testicles.
Orchitis
Inflammation of one or both testicles, usually caused by viral or bacterial infection.
Osteoporosis
A condition characterized by decreased bone mineral density, causing an increased risk of bone fractures.
Penile cancer
A growth of malignant cells in the tissues of the penis.
Penis
The external male organ used to copulate and ejaculate semen and to urinate.
Perineum
The area between the anus and scrotum.
Peyronie's disease
A condition in which plaques form under the skin of the penis, causing it to bend or become indented during erections.
Phimosis
A narrowing of the foreskin of the penis.
Plaque
Segment of flat scar tissue.
Positron emission tomography (PET) scan
A diagnostic imaging test that uses an injection of radioactive glucose, or sugar, to highlight areas of cancerous tissue.
Priapism
A prolonged and usually painful erection that lasts hours beyond or is not caused by sexual stimulation.
Prostate
A walnut-sized gland, found only in men, that secretes fluid to protect and nourish sperm cells.
Prostate cancer
A growth of malignant cells in the tissues of the prostate gland.
Prostate lift (prostatic urethral lift)
A minimally invasive procedure to treat symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) involving implants that pull obstructing prostate tissue away from the urethra.
Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test
A blood test used to measure the level of prostate-specific antigen (PSA), a protein produced by prostate cells.
Prostatectomy
A surgical procedure in which the entire prostate and seminal vesicles are removed.
Prostatitis
Inflammation of the prostate.
Radiation therapy
The use of high-energy rays to destroy or shrink cancer cells.
Radical inguinal orchiectomy
A surgical procedure to remove a cancerous testicle, or possibly both testicles.
Reactive arthritis
Joint pain and swelling triggered by an infection in another part of the body.
Rectum
A section of the large intestine, responsible for storing stool until the muscles contract to push the stool out of the body through the anus.
Retrograde ejaculation
A condition in which semen is ejaculated into the bladder rather than out of the body through the penis.
Retroperitoneal lymph node dissection
A surgical procedure to remove lymph nodes in the abdomen. This procedure may be combined with the removal of one or both testicles.
Scrotum
A sac or pouch of skin containing the testicles, located behind the penis.
Semen
The combination of seminal fluid, prostate fluid, and sperm that is ejaculated during orgasm.
Seminal vesicles
A pair of glands that secrete seminal fluid and nourish and promote the movement of sperm through the urethra.
Seminoma
A slow-growing type of germ cell tumor in the testicles.
Sickle cell anemia
An inherited disorder that causes red blood cells to become misshapen and break down.
Sperm
A cell produced by the male sexual organs that combines with the female's egg in reproduction.
Spermatic cord
A bundle of nerves, ducts, and blood vessels connecting the testicles to the abdominal cavity.
Spermatocele (spermatic cyst)
A fluid-filled mass that grows near the testicles, often containing sperm.
Teratoma
A subtype of nonseminoma, which is a type of germ cell cancer in the testicles.
Testicle
One of a pair of oval-shaped organs that produce sperm, located inside the scrotum behind the penis.
Testicular cancer
A growth of malignant cells in the tissues of one or both testicles.
Testicular self-examination (TSE)
A self-exam that is recommended monthly to evaluate the size and feel of the testicles for any changes.
Testicular torsion
A condition in which the spermatic cord becomes twisted around a testicle, cutting off the testicle's blood supply.
Testicular trauma
Injury to the testicles that can cause severe pain, along with swelling and bruising, but rarely causes permanent damage.
Testosterone
A hormone responsible for the development and maintenance of male secondary sex characteristics.
Transurethral electrovaporization
A procedure used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) in which an instrument passed through the urethra to the prostate uses an electric current to vaporize excess prostate tissue.
Transurethral incision of the prostate (TUIP)
A procedure used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) in which small cuts are made in the bladder neck to widen the urethra.
Transurethral microwave thermotherapy
A procedure used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) in which microwave energy is used to remove excess prostate tissue.
Transurethral needle ablation
A procedure used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) in which low-level radio frequency energy is used to remove excess prostate tissue.
Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP)
A procedure used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) in which an instrument passed through the urethra to the prostate is used to cut away excess prostate tissue.
Tumor
A mass or lump of tissue made of abnormal cells.
Tunica albuginea
A layer of tough, connective tissue under the skin of the penis that surrounds the corpora cavernosa and urethra.
Undescended testicle (cryptorchidism)
A condition in which one or both testicles fail to descend from the abdomen to the scrotum.
Urethra
The tube that carries urine and semen out of the body through the penis.
Urinalysis
A test that looks for the presence of blood, nitrates, or other substances in the urine.
Vacuum erection device
A device that forces an erection with the use of a vacuum pump and maintains an erection with an elastic ring secured at the base of the penis.
Vaporization
The process of changing a liquid or solid into a vapor.
Vas deferens
A duct that conveys sperm from the testicle to the urethra.
Water-induced thermotherapy
A procedure used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) in which hot water is circulated through a catheter with an inflated balloon to heat the inside of the prostate, causing adjacent tissue to die.
Yolk sac carcinoma
A subtype of nonseminoma, which is a type of germ cell cancer in the testicles.