Glossary V-W-X-Y-Z

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vaccine: a preparation which is used to improve immunity to a particular disease 

vacuum erection device (VED): a device that creates an erection with vacuum; it is usually a hard, plastic device placed over the penis; a vacuum is then created by a pump, bringing blood into the penis

vas deferens: tube through which sperm travel from the testes to the prostate prior to ejaculation

vascular: relating to a blood vessel

vascular pedicle: a stalk through which the prostate receives and drains blood.

vascularity: containing vessels that carry or circulate fluids, i.e. blood, lymph 

vasculature: the arrangement or the distribution of blood vessels in an organ

vasectomy: operation to make a man sterile by cutting the vas deferens, thus preventing passage of sperm from the testes to the prostate

vasoconstrictor: relating to a process, condition or substance that causes a narrowing of an opening of a blood vessel

vasodilator: a drug which cause blood vessels to expand, thereby increasing blood flow; vasodilators are used in Viagra® and other drugs (e.g., trimix) to cause erections

vasomotor: causing or regulating dilation or constriction of the blood vessels

VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor): a substance known to stimulate blood vessel growth or angiogenesis and hence stimulate tumor growth

Veil of Aphrodite: a superficial membrane on the surface of the prostate critical for preservation of neurovascular bundle

venous: of, relating to, or contained in the veins: e.g. venous circulation

ventral: relating to position toward the belly

vesicle: a small sac containing a biologically important  fluid

vessel: a tube in which a body fluid circulates

vinblastine (trade name Velban®): periwinkle plant derivative used as an antineoplastic drug that disrupts cell division

visceral: relating to the internal organs of the body cavity

virus: ultramicroscopic infectious agent that replicates itself only within cells of living hosts; many are pathogenic; a piece of nucleic acid (DNA or RNA) wrapped in a thin coat of protein

voxels: three-dimensional pixels (volumes) which display spectral data that consist of a series of peaks at distinct frequencies for different chemicals (metabolites) within tissue.

watchful waiting (WW): active observation and regular monitoring of a patient without actual treatment; also called active objectified surveillance

WBC: white blood cell count; cells that are important to combating infection as well as being part of the immune system; comprised of granulocytes (neutrophils), lymphocytes and monocytes

WBC/HPF: white blood cells counted per high powered field during a microscopic evaluation

WHITMORE-JEWETT staging: see staging

wortmannin: a lipid-modifying enzyme that inhibits PI3 kinase

X-ray: a type of high energy radiation that can be used at low levels to make images of the internal structures of the body and at high levels for radiation therapy

xenograft: a graft of tissue taken from a donor of one species and grafted into a recipient of another species

Zoladex®: trade or brand name for goserelin acetate, an LHRH agonist

zone: part or area of an organ