Glossary H

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H-2 blockers: blockers of histamine, a substance responsible for gastric acidity among other functions

half life: the time it takes for half of the nuclei of a radioactive substance to decay or the amount of time required to reduce a drug level to one half of the initial value

haploid: having the same number of sets of chromosomes as a germ cell (sperm or egg) or half as many as a somatic cell (all remaining cells having to do with the body); having a single set of chromosomes; see diploid

HC: hydrocortisone

HDK: high dose ketoconazole; Nizoral®

HDL cholesterol: high density lipoprotein cholesterol; a beneficial cholesterol composed of a high proportion of protein (with little triglyceride and cholesterol) and that is associated with decreased probability of developing atherosclerosis

HDR (high dose radiation): radiation delivered by temporary insertion of radioactive Iridium wire into flexible needles placed in the prostate through the perineum. See our paper Temporary Seed Implant with High Dose Rate Brachytherapy.

hematocrit (HCT): a measure of the number of red cells found in the blood, stated as a percentage of the total blood volume

hematology: a medical science that deals with the blood and blood-forming organs

hematopoietic: pertaining to tissues such as the bone marrow, spleen and lymph nodes where blood cell formation and destruction occur

hematospermia: the occurrence of blood in the semen

hematuria: the occurrence of blood in the urine

hemi-ablation: destruction of tissue of one half of the prostate

hemiprostate: the left or right side of the prostate

hemoglobin (HGB): a complex protein-iron compound in the blood that carries oxygen from the lungs to the cells and carries carbon dioxide back to the lungs. Each red blood cell contains several hundred molecules of hemoglobin.

hemorrhage: to undergo heavy or uncontrollable bleeding

hemostatic: an agent that shortens the clotting time of blood

Hepatic: pertaining to the liver

Herceptin®: the trade name for trastuzumab

hereditary: inherited from one's parents and earlier generations

heredity: the historical distribution of biological characteristics through a group of related individuals via their DNA

heterogeneous (heterogeneity): non-uniform; composed of mixtures of different kinds; in reference to tumors meaning composed of different clones of cells

high dose ketoconazole (HDK): see Nizoral®; Also see our paper High Dose Ketoconazole Plus Hydrocortisone.

high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU): a procedure which utilizes transrectal ultrasound that is highly focused into a small area, creating intense heat which is lethal to prostate cancer tissue. See our paper: Transrectal HIFU: The Next Generation?

hilum: a shallow depression in one side of a lymph node through which blood vessels pass and efferent lymphatic vessels emerge

histology: the study of the appearance and behavior of  tissue, usually carried out under a microscope by a pathologist (who is a physician) or a histologist (who  is not necessarily a physician)

histomorphometry: the quantitative measurement and characterization of the microscopic organization and structure of a tissue especially by computer-assisted analysis of images

histone: any of various simple water-soluble proteins that are rich in the basic amino acids lysine and arginine and are complexed with DNA in the nucleosomes of eukaryotic chromatin

histopathologic: tissue changes that affect a part or accompany a disease

HMO: health maintenance organization; an insurance plan in which you choose a primary care physician who must approve referrals to other providers

HMW-uPA: high molecular weight uPA

homeopathy: a system of healing that normally involves remedies being administered in reduced doses.

homeostasis: the ability or tendency of an organism or cell to maintain internal equilibrium by adjusting its physiological processes

homogeneous (homogeneity): uniform; composed of the same element; in reference to a tumor cell population meaning that the cells are of the same clone in contrast to a mixed cell population that would exhibit heterogeneity or be heterogeneous

homologous: corresponding, as in relative position or structure; a homologous tumor is made up of cells resembling those of the tissue in which it is growing

hormone: biologically active chemicals that are responsible for the development of secondary sexual characteristics and other biologic activities

hormone ablation therapy: see hormone therapy.

hormone blockade therapy: see hormone therapy.

hormone-naïve: not having received prior hormone therapy

hormone refractory PC (HRPC) (see AIPC): a loosely used term that really should apply to progressive PC in the setting of a testosterone level less than 20 ng/dl and when an ARM has been excluded; the preferred term is AIPC or androgen independent PC. See our paper Hormone-Refractory Prostate Cancer: A Continuum of Diseases and Options

hormone therapy (HT): the use of hormones, hormone analogs, and certain surgical techniques to treat disease (in this case prostate cancer) either on their own or in combination with other hormones or in combination with other methods of treatment; because prostate cancer is usually dependent on male hormones (ex: testosterone) to grow,  hormone blockade or deprivation (also called androgen deprivation therapy) can be an effective means of alleviating symptoms and retarding the development of  the disease

hot flash: the sudden sensation of warmth in the face, neck  and upper body; a side effect of many forms of hormone therapy

HRPC: see hormone refractory prostate cancer.

HSD (hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase): the enzyme that oxidizes or reduces testosterone to androstenedione or vice versa

hybridization protection assay (HPA): a process that hybridizes the amplicon to singlestranded nucleic acid probes that are labeled with an Acridinium Ester (AE) molecule and then it selects and detects the hybridized probes.

hydrocortisone (HC): a steroid compound synthesized in the adrenal cortex and vital to survival

hydrolyze: undergo hydrolysis; decompose by reacting with water

hydronephrosis: abnormal enlargement of a kidney, may occur secondary to acute ureteral obstruction or chronic kidney disease.

hydroxyapatite: a crystal structure that is a building block for bone; principal bone salt, Ca5(PO4)3OH, which provides the compressional strength of vertebrate bone

hydroxyflutamide: the active metabolite of flutamide

hypercalcemia: abnormally high concentrations of calcium in  the blood, indicating leeching of calcium from bone (tumors raise serum calcium levels by destroying bone or by releasing PTH or a PTH-like substance, osteoclast-activating factor, prostaglandins, and perhaps, a vitamin D-like sterol). Symptoms of  hypercalcemia may include: feeling tired, difficulty thinking clearly, lack of appetite, abdominal pain, frequent urination, increased thirst, constipation, nausea, and vomiting.

hyperechoic: denoting a region in an ultrasound image in which the echoes are stronger than normal or than surrounding structures; the opposite of hypoechoic

hyperintensity: a term used to describe light areas of a scan image due to a increased enhancement of that region

hyperlipidemia, hyperlipemia: an excess of fats (or lipids) in the blood

hyperplasia: enlargement of an organ or tissue because of an increase in the number of cells in that organ or tissue; see also BPH

hypersensitive PSA (ultrasensitive PSA): a laboratory assay for PSA that is more sensitive to detection of low levels of PSA than a standard assay; these assays allow for earlier detection of recurrence and can distinguish an excellent response to ADT from a mediocre response; DPC Immulite® 3rd generation and Tosoh are two examples of hypersensitive PSA assays available

hypertension: arterial disease in which chronic high blood pressure is the primary symptom

hyperthermia: treatment that uses heat; for example heat produced by microwave radiation

hypertrophy: the enlargement or overgrowth of an organ or part due to an increase in size of its constituent cells; compare to hyperplasia; see benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)

hypervascular: containing an excessive number of blood vessels

hypocalcemia: low blood calcium; symptoms may include irritability, muscle spasms or contractions of hands, feet or legs

hypoechoic: A region in an ultrasound image in which the echoes are weaker or fewer than normal or in the surrounding regions; the opposite of hyperechoic

hypofractionated: a radiation treatment that is divided into fewer individual sessions (but correspondingly higher doses of radiation) than usual

hypoglycemia: less than normal level of sugar in the blood

hypointensity: a term used to describe dark areas of a scan image due to a decreased enhancement of that region

hypotension: arterial disease in which chronic low blood pressure is the primary symptom

hypothalamus, (adj.) hypothalamic: a portion of the brain which secretes substances that control metabolism by exerting an influence on pituitary gland function.

hypoxia, hypoxic: a deficiency of oxygen reaching the tissues of the body