Glossary F

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false negative: an erroneous negative test result; for example, an imaging test that fails to show the presence of a cancer tumor later found by biopsy to be present in the patient is said to have returned a false negative result

false positive: a positive test result mistakenly identifying a state or condition that does not in fact exist

fascia: fiberlike connective tissue of the body

fast echo spin (FSE): in MRI, echo sequence is characterized by a series of rapidly applied 180° rephasing pulses and multiple echoes

FDA: United States Food and Drug Administration

ferritin: an iron-containing protein complex, found principally in the intestinal mucosa, spleen and liver that functions as the primary form of iron storage in the body

Feulgen stain: a histology stain used in microscopy to identify chromosomal material or DNA

FGF: fibroblast growth factor (contributes to blood vessel development

fibril: a small thread-like structure that is often part of a cell

fibroblast, fibroblastic: a connective-tissue cell that secretes proteins and especially molecular collagen from which the extracellular matrix of connective tissue forms

fiducial: used as a fixed standard of reference for comparison or measurement

finasteride (Proscar®): an inhibitor of the enzyme (5 alpha-reductase or 5AR) that stimulates the conversion of testosterone to DHT; used to treat BPH

fistula: an abnormal passage between two organs

flare reaction: the transient increase in serum testosterone for the first few weeks after starting an LHRH agonist. This increase in testosterone can potentially worsen the signs and symptoms of disease, especially in those patients with vertebral metastases and/or urinary obstruction; may be prevented by taking an antiandrogen (Casodex® or Eulexin®) several days before starting an LHRH agonist or by the use of an LHRH antagonist such as abarelix (Plenaxis®). See our paper Clinical Flare: A Crisis That Can Be Avoided.

flow cytometry: a measurement method that determines the fraction of cells that are diploid, tetraploid, aneuploid, etc

fluence: number of particles per unit time crossing a unit area; similar to electrical current only in radiation therapy, the particles are photons

fluoroscope: a device consisting of a fluorescent screen, used in conjunction with an X-ray tube, that shows the images of objects between the tube and the screen

fluorouracil: an antineoplastic chemotherapy agent that inhibits certain DNA building blocks, used especially in the treatment of cancers of the skin, breast, and digestive system

flutamide (Eulexin®): an antiandrogen used in the palliative hormonal treatment of advanced prostate cancer and in the adjuvant and neoadjuvant hormonal treatment of earlier stages of prostate cancer; normal dosage is 2 capsules three times a day

focal therapy: a more localized treatment directed at the cancerous foci within the gland, rather than removing or destroying the entire prostate

focus: pl. foci: Group of (frequently neoplastic ) cells, identifiable by distinctive distribution or structure.

Foley: a transurethral (Foley) catheter

follicle stimulating hormone (FSH): in the male, stimulates the Sertoli cells of the testicle to make sperm

fossa: a cavity, or depression; as the location from which the prostate was removed

fraction: The portion of a fractionated radiation treatment that is delivered in a single session

free PSA: PSA molecules in the blood stream that are not "bound" to other proteins

free PSA %: reports the percentage of free-PSA and usually expressed as a percentage based on free PSA divided by total PSA x 100; one study showed that men with free PSA % > 25% had low risk of PC while those with < 10% free PSA % were more likely to have PC.

free radical: An atom or group of atoms that has at least one unpaired electron and is therefore unstable and highly reactive. In animal tissues, free radicals can damage cells and are believed to accelerate the progression of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and age-related diseases

frequency: (as relates to the prostate) the need to urinate often

frozen section: a technique in which removed tissue is frozen, cut into thin slices, and stained for microscopic examination; a pathologist can rapidly complete a frozen section analysis, and for this reason, it is commonly used during surgery to quickly provide the surgeon with vital information such as a preliminary pathologic opinion of the presence or absence of prostate cancer (usually in the pelvic lymph nodes)

FSH: See follicle stimulating hormone

fusion: combining two or more inputs of data so that they can be overlaid one upon another to provide a sense of agreement or concordance; fusion imaging studies such as ProstaScint-CT-PET are examples