Glossary U

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ultrasound (US): sound waves at a particular frequency (far beyond the hearing range) whose echoes bouncing off  tissue can be used to image internal organs

understaging: the assignment of an overly low clinical stage at initial diagnosis because of the difficulty of assessing the available information with accuracy (e.g., stage T2b as opposed to stage T3b)

undetectable PSA (UDPSA): defined in our research as a PSA of <0.05 using a hypersensitive assay

unit: a blood-banking term for a pint of blood  or plasma but can be used to quantitate other blood products such as platelets

uPA (urokinase-like plasminogen activator): a protease or digestive enzyme that is made by the PC cell, stimulates PC cell and osteoblast growth, and is involved with invasion and metastasis

uPM3 urine test: a new molecular test for detecting prostate cancer cells based on PCA3, a specific gene that is profusely expressed in prostate cancer tissue. Patients who receive the uPM3(TM) undergo a thorough digital rectal prostate examination by a urologist which causes cells from the patient's prostate to be shed into the urine. See our paper PCA3: A Genetic Marker of Prostate Cancer.

up-regulation: the process of increasing the response to a stimulus

uptake: the absorption by a tissue of a substance, such as a nutrient, and its permanent or temporary retention

urea: the main nitrogen part of urine made from protein breakdown

uremia: the presence of excessive amounts of urea and other waste products in the blood, as occurs in kidney

ureter: an anatomical tube that drains urine from one of  the two kidneys to the bladder

urethra: the tube that drains urine from the bladder through the prostate and out through the penis

urge incontinence: the need to urinate which is sudden and uncontrollable

urinary system: the group of organs and their interconnections that permits excess, filtered fluids to exit the body, including (in the male) the kidneys, the ureters, the bladder, the urethra and the penis

urinate: to discharge urine, a fluid produced by the kidneys

urodynamics: The mechanical laws of fluid dynamics as they apply to urine transport

urologist: a doctor trained first as a surgeon who specializes in disorders of the genitourinary system

uropathy: a disorder involving the urinary tract

UTI (urinary tract infection): an infection identifiable by the presence of bacteria (or theoretically viruses) in the urine; may be associated with fever or a burning sensation on urination