base: the base of the prostate is the wide part at the top of the prostate closest to the seminal vesicles and bladder
baseline PSA (bPSA): the PSA level before a new treatment has begun; used to establish efficacy of a therapy based on response of the PSA to the treatment; can also be used in principle with any other marker, radiologic imaging study or any finding that shows pathology relating to PC
BAT: B-mode acquisition and targeting; an ultrasound evaluation of the prostate localizing it prior to each and every RT therapy treatment; currently used in conjunction with IMRT and mechanically integrated into the treatment program
benign prostatic hyperplasia or hypertrophy (BPH): A noncancerous condition of the prostate that results in the growth of both glandular and stromal (supporting connective) tumorous tissue, enlarging the prostate and obstructing urination (see prostatitis)
bicalutamide (Casodex®): a nonsteroidal antiandrogen available in the USA and some European countries for the treatment of advanced prostate cancer
bilateral: both sides; for example, a bilateral orchiectomy is an orchiectomy in which both testicles are removed and a bilateral adrenalectomy is an operation in which both adrenal glands are removed
biochemical control: control of a biochemical marker, such as an antigen (ex: PSA), antibody, abnormal enzyme (ex: PAP), or hormone that is sufficiently altered in a disease to serve as an aid in diagnosing or in predicting susceptibility to the disease.
biochemical failure: loss of biochemical control
biopsy (Bx): sampling of tissue from a particular part of the body (e.g., the prostate) in order to check for abnormalities such as cancer; in the case of prostate cancer, biopsies are usually carried out under ultrasound guidance using a specially designed device known as a prostate biopsy gun; removed tissue is typically examined microscopically by a pathologist in order to make a precise diagnosis of the patient's condition. See our paper Understanding Your Biopsy Results.
blastic: having a dense appearance on a plain x-ray; associated with increased density of bone involved by prostate cancer and looking whiter on an ordinary x-ray; prostate cancer bone metastases are usually blastic; breast cancer metastases are usually lytic (showing evidence of less bone density in areas of cancer)
blood count: analysis of blood cells including white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets; abnormal values can indicate cancer in the bone or side effects of therapy. See our paper Laboratory Tests Defined
blot: a nitrocellulose (cotton-like polymer) sheet that contains spots of immobilized macromolecules (as of DNA, RNA, or protein) or their fragments and that is used to identify specific components of the spots by applying a suitable molecular probe (as a complementary nucleic acid or a radiolabeled antibody)
Bluestein tables: tables containing algorithms which use the variables clinical stage, Gleason grade, and PSA to predict high vs low risk for lymph node involvement with prostate cancer. See our paper Bluestein Tables.
BMD: See bone mineral density.
bone mineral density (BMD): a measure of the strength of bones, androgen deprivation can cause the loss of BMD resulting in osteoporosis, usually BMD is tested by dual-energy absorption x-ray (DEXA) or quantitative CAT scan (qCT) methods
bone scan: a technique more sensitive than conventional x-rays which uses a radiolabelled agent to identify abnormal or cancerous growths within or attached to bone; in the case of prostate cancer, a bone scan is used to identify bony metastases which are definitive for cancer which has escaped from the prostate; metastases appear as "hot spots" on the film; however the absence of hot spots does not prove the absence of tiny metastases
bound PSA: PSA molecules in the blood that are attached to other proteins
bowel preparation: the cleaning of the bowels or intestines that is normal prior to abdominal surgery such as radical prostatectomy
BPH: see benign prostatic hyperplasia
brachytherapy: A form of radiation therapy in which radioactive seeds or pellets which emit radiation are implanted within the prostate in order to destroy PC. See our paper Seed Implantation for Prostate Cancer
BUN: blood urea nitrogen; a reflection of kidney function;