Glossary N

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N0, N1, Nx: notation of lymph nodes metastasis, see staging

nadir: the lowest point

nanotechnology: the control of matter on an atomic and molecular scale 

naturopathy: treatment of disease using natural agents and physical manipulation; avoids drugs and surgery

nausea: An unpleasant sensation in the abdomen often leading to vomiting.

NCI: National Cancer Institute

necrosis, adj. necrotic: death of cells or tissues through injury or disease

negative: the term used to describe a test result which does not show the presence of the substance or material for which the test was carried out; for example, a negative bone scan would show no sign of bone metastases

negative predictive value: refers to the chance that a negative test result will be correct.

neoadjuvant: The use of a different kind of therapy before the use of what is considered a more definitive therapy, e.g. the use of  neoadjuvant androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) prior to radiation therapy of PC or the use of neoadjuvant chemotherapy before surgery  for breast cancer. Neoadjuvant is contrasted to adjuvant, which relates to the use of another therapy after the so-called more definitive therapy, e.g. ADT after RT

neoadjuvant hormone blockade (NHB): use of ADT prior to other therapies such as radiation therapy, surgery or possibly chemotherapy to reduce tumor volume and/or prostate gland volume with the goal to allow these other therapies to work better; also called NHT (Neoadjuvant Hormone Therapy)

neoplasia: the growth of cells under conditions that would tend to prevent the development of normal tissue (e.g., a cancer)

neoplasm, adj. neoplastic: new and abnormal growth of tissue, which may be a benign or cancerous tumor

nephrostomy: establishment of an opening for a catheter from the kidney to the exterior of the body.

nerve radicles: small nerve roots that are seen microscopically within specific tissue, like the prostate

nerve sparing: term used to describe a type of prostatectomy in which the surgeon saves the nerves that affect sexual and related functions

Neumega® (oprelvekin): a medication which helps the body produce more platelets in the blood

neural: relating to a nerve or the nervous system

neuroendocrine: pertaining to the relationships between the nervous and the endocrine systems

neurogenic: originating in the nervous system; compare to psychogenic

neurohormone: any of a group of substances produced by specialized cells (neurosecretory cells) structurally typical of the nervous (rather than of the endocrine) system, but that serve as a link between the two systems

neurologic: meaning it pertains to the nervous system, e.g., a neurologic problem

neurons: nerve cells which make up the central nervous system

neuropathy, adj. neuropathic: a disease or an abnormality of the nervous system

neurotoxicity: toxicity to nervous tissue (both brain and peripheral nerves)

neurotransmitter: a chemical that acts as messenger between cells in the brain and nervous system; it transmits impulses across the gap from a neuron to another neuron, a muscle, or a gland.

neurovascular: to both the neurologic and vascular systems or structures

neurovascular bundles: two bundles of nerves between the prostate and the rectum that control erection

neutropenia, neutropenic: a deficiency of neutrophils. A person is considered neutropenic when their white blood cell count drops below 1000.

neutrophil: the principal phagocyte (microbe-eating) cell in the blood. This blood cell is the main cell that combats infections. Often, it is not present in sufficient quantities in patients with acute leukemia or after chemotherapy. A severe deficiency of neutrophils increases the patient's susceptibility to infection.

NHB, NHT: see neoadjuvant hormone blockade (hormone therapy)

NIH: National Institutes of Health

nilutamide (Nilandron®): a non-steroidal antiandrogen

Nizoral®: The brand name of ketoconazole; a medication that blocks testicular and adrenal androgen production while having a direct cytotoxic effect on the PC cell; Nizoral® also is synergistic with certain chemotherapy agents and inhibits the development of the MDR gene; See our paper High Dose Ketoconazole Plus Hydrocortisone (HDK+ HC)

nocturia: the act of needing to getting up at night to urinate. This is usually scored as nocturia x number of times on average patient awakens to urinate. Nocturia x 3, for example, means getting up at night 3 times

nodular: bumpy

nodule: A growth or lump that may be cancerous or noncancerous.

nomogram: A chart representing numerical relationships

noncoding: In genetics, noncoding DNA describes DNA which does not contain instructions for making proteins (or other cell products such as RNAs)

noninvasive: not requiring any incision or the insertion of an instrument or substance into the body

norepinephrine: an adrenal hormone that increases blood pressure by narrowing blood vessals

NSE: neuron-specific enolase; a neuroendocrine marker (see CGA)

N-telopeptides (Ntx): a bone resorption marker

nuclear medicine: branch of medicine dealing with the use of radioactive materials in the diagnosis and treatment of disease

nucleated: formed into a nucleus

nucleic acid: a chemical compound involved in making and storing energy and carrying hereditary characteristics, such as DNA

nucleolus: pl. nucleoli: any of the small, dense cell structures made up mostly of RNA (ribonucleic acid)

nucleosomes: the repeating structural units of chromatin, each consisting of approximately 200 base pairs of DNA around a protein core composed of the histones

nucleus: the main controlling body of a living cell

nutraceutical (or nutriceutical): a food or dietary supplement thought to provide a beneficial health effect