Glossary B

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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

Bcl-2: an anti-apoptotic protein that protects cells from programmed cell death by preventing the activation of pro-apoptotic proteins

Benadryl®: antihistamine often used to treat allergic reactions involving the nasal passages (hay fever) and also to treat motion sickness

benign: relatively harmless; not cancerous; not malignant

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)

benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH): similar to benign  prostatic hyperplasia, but caused by an increase in the size of cells rather than the growth of more cells

beta particle: a charged particle (electron or positron) that is emitted by the decay of certain radioactive atoms

bevacizumab (Avastin®): an anti-angiogenesis drug used in treatment of cancer. It is used in combination with standard chemotherapy drugs in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer.

bicalutamide (Casodex®): a nonsteroidal antiandrogen available in the USA and some European countries for the treatment of advanced prostate cancer

bid or b.i.d.: to be taken twice a day (morning and evening); stands for "bis in die" (in Latin, 2 times a day)

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

bimix, bi-mix: usually refers to a mixture of papaverine and phentolamine that is injected into the penis to cause an erection.

biochemical: involving chemical processes in living organisms

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

biomarker: A specific biochemical in the body which is useful for measuring the progress of disease or the effects of treatment

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.

bisphosphonates (BPs): any of a group of carbon-substituted analogs (as etidronate) of pyrophosphate that are potent inhibitors of osteoclast-mediated bone resorption

bladder: the hollow organ in which urine is collected and stored in the body

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 chemistry: measured concentrations of many chemicals in the blood; abnormal values can indicate spread of cancer or side effects of therapy

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.

bombesin: an amino acid peptide which stimulates gastrin release

bone marrow: soft tissue in bone cavities that produces blood cells

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: small or large intestine. The small intestine is sometimes called the small bowel. The large intestine is also called the colon.

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

BRM (bone resorption marker): a laboratory test that quantifies the bone loss (resorption) occurring usually from ADT or PC; examples include Pyrilinks-D (Dpd) and N-telopeptides

BUN: blood urea nitrogen; a reflection of kidney function;