Glossary of Terms

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Term Definition
TNM Staging System

A system to describe the amount and spread of cancer in a patient’s body, using TNM. T describes the size of the tumor and any spread of cancer into nearby tissue; N describes spread of cancer to nearby lymph nodes; and M describes metastasis (spread of cancer to other parts of the body). This system was created and is updated by the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) and the International Union Against Cancer (UICC). The TNM staging, used in combination with tumor grade and prostate-specific antigen (PSA), is regarded as a well accepted practice standard for prostate cancer and is used as the basis for guiding treatment decision making.

Transperineal biopsy

A thin biopsy needle is inserted through the perineum (area between the scrotum and the anus) into the prostate to remove a tissue sample (biopsy). The ultrasound device is inserted into the rectum to guide the needle.

Transrectal ultrasound-guided biopsy

A biopsy where a thin needle is inserted through the rectum into the prostate.