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adjuvant  after initial treatment to prevent secondary tumours

angiogenesis  the development of a blood supply to a tumour

anterior exenteration  surgical removal of a woman's bladder and reproductive organs

antiemetic  a drug to counteract nausea and vomiting


B-cell response  a natural immune response

basal  relating to the base

baseline  starting point for comparison

BAUN  British Association of Urological Nurses

BAUS  British Association of Urological Surgeons

BC  bladder cancer

BCG  Bacillus Calmette-Guerin, a treatment for early bladder cancer

BCQS  Bladder Cancer Quality Standards

biomarker  something by which the disease can be identified

biopsy  a sample of tissue taken for examination

BLC  blue light cystoscopy

BPH  benign prostate hyperplasia


cannula  a thin tube inserted into a vein in the arm or hand

carcinogenic  cancer-causing

carcinoma  malignant growth or tumour

catheter  a thin tube

checkpoint inhibitors  drugs that prevent cancer cells from disabling protective T-cells

chemoradiation  combination treatment of drugs and x-rays

chemotherapy  treatment with chemicals toxic to the body's cells

CIS  carcinoma in situ or flat tumour

CNS  clinical nurse specialist

CT  computerised axial tomography, a scan that uses a series of x-ray images to create cross-sectional views of the body

cystectomy  removal of the bladder

cystoprostatectomy  surgical removal of the bladder and prostate

cystoscopy  a procedure to examine the inside of the bladder

cytokines  cells that communicate an immune response


DAT  device assisted therapy

DNA  deoxyribonucleic acid

durable response  rate the length of time a response is observed

DVT  deep-vein thrombosis, a blood clot in a deep vein in the body

dysplasia  abnormal development dysuria painful or frequent urination


EAU  European Association of Urologists

EBRT  external beam radiotherapy

EBUS  endobronchial ultrasound test for lung cancer

ED  erectile dysfunction

endoscope  a medical instrument that is made to see inside parts of a person's body

enhanced recovery pathways  methods of improving recovery times and experience

eosinophils  white blood cells that fight off certain parasites and infections

ER  enhanced recovery

expressed  active


FGFR  fibroblast growth factor receptor

FGFR  test laboratory test to see if a cancer has a mutation in a gene that could potentially be treated with erdafitinib

fMRI  functional magnetic resonance imaging


genes  forms of DNA, a collection of chemical information that carries the instructions for making the proteins a cell will need; each gene contains a single set of instructions

GI  gastrointestinal


haematuria  blood in the urine

HCP  healthcare professional

Hickman line  a hollow tube inserted into a vein in the chest to deliver medication

histology  the microscopic examination of cells

histopathological  microscopic examination of tissue to identify disease

HNA  Holistic Needs Assessment

HrQoL  health-related quality of life


ICER  incremental cost effectiveness ratio

ileal conduit  see urostomy

immune component  part of the immune system

immunotherapy  also called immune oncology therapy, treatment that stimulates the body's white blood cells to fight cancer; these drugs can help keep cancer cells from hiding from the body's white blood cells

inhibitory pathway  a situation in which defensive cells are prevented from attacking foreign cells

intolerable toxicity  the point at which the treatment becomes more harmful than the disease

intra-vesicle installations  treatments administered directly into the bladder via a catheter

ITU  intensive therapy unit



KW  key worker


lines (of treatment)  treatment regimens

luminal  relating to the hollow inside an organ such as a blood vessel or an intestine

lymph nodes  contain white blood cells, and are found all through the body

lymphangiogenic  originating in the lymphatic system


macrophages  white blood cells found within tissues

MDT  multi-disciplinary team metaplasia transformation of a tissue from one type of tissue to another type of tissue

metastatic  cancer that has spread from its original place to another part of the body

MIBC  muscle-invasive bladder cancer

MRI  magnetic resonance imaging, a method of scanning using a magnet and radio waves

muscle-invasive bladder cancer  cancer that has spread to the muscles of the bladder

mutagenic  an agent that changes genetic material


neoantigens  newly formed proteins that have not been previously recognised by the immune system, often as a result of tumours

NMIBC  non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer


OCT  optical coherence tomography, a medical imaging technique

oncolytic  cancer-killing


PALS  Patient Advice and Liaison Service

PCT  primary care trust

PDD  photodynamic diagnosis – a technique where a special liquid is placed in the bladder before operating, so the surgeon is able to distinguish tumour cells from normal cells

PDE5  inhibitors drugs that help erection with sexual stimulation, and are used in the treatment of erectile dysfunction. Viagra is a PDE5 inhibitor

PDL-1  inhibitor an antibody that helps T-cells recognise cancer cells

PD-L1  test laboratory test to see if drugs like atezolizumab or pembrolizumab are more likely to work in people who are not able to have chemotherapy

penile prosthesis/implant  malleable or inflatable rods inserted within the erection chambers of the penis

PET  positron emission tomography

Peyronie's disease a disorder of the penis resulting in bent or painful erections

PFS  progression-free survival

photodynamic diagnosis  blue light cytoscopy

PHR  patient-held record

PICC  line peripherally inserted central catheter, a hollow tube inserted into a vein in the arm to administer medication

platelets  disc-shaped cell fragments in the blood responsible for clotting

polyuria  excessive urination – greater than 2.5 litres over 24 hours in adults

priapism  a persistent penile erection not necessarily associated with sexual arousal

primary endpoint  answers to the primary questions posed by a trial

PROMs  patient-reported outcome measures

proteases  enzymes that break down protein

pyrexial  having a body temperature above the normal range


QoL  quality of life


radical cystectomy (RC)  surgical removal of the bladder and lymph nodes, as well as the prostate in men

radiotherapy  treatment with radiation

randomised trial  a controlled trial in which people are randomly assign to different groups to test a specific drug, treatment or intervention

RCTs  randomised control trials

refractory  resistant

resection  surgical removal


sensitivity  a measure of the percentage success rate of a test on patients with a disease

specificity  a measure of the percentage success rate of a test on patients who do not have a disease 

squamous cell carcinoma  a cancer that begins in squamous cells, which are thin, flat cells resembling fish scales. Squamous cells are found in the tissue that forms the surface of the lining of the bladder.  

stoma  an artificial opening on the abdomen that can be connected to either your digestive or urinary system to allow wee or poo to be diverted out of your body

surrogate markers  a reliable substitute for the disease


T-cell  a cell that can attack a cancer cell

tachycardia  abnormally fast heart rate

targeted therapy  drugs that block the growth of cancers by acting on specific proteins in cancer cells

TNM system (TNBM)  tumour node metastasis, a way of defining the size, location and spread of a tumour

transitional cell cancer (TCC)  most common urinary cancer

tumour  abnormal masses of tissue that result when cells divide more than they should or do not die when they should; tumours can be benign (not cancer) or malignant (cancer)

tumour microenvironment  the cellular environment in which the tumour exists

TURBT  transurethral resection of bladder tumour – a surgical removal of part or all of a tumour


urethra  the tube connecting the bladder with the outside of the body

uropathy  a disease of the urinary tract

urostomy  a surgical procedure to create a stoma

urothelial  of the urinary tract

UTI  urinary tract infection


visceral  referring to the internal organs of the body, specifically those within the chest or abdomen


WBCPC  World Bladder Cancer Patient Coalition

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We’ve tried to make the information on this site as accurate as possible. Whilst we have support from medical professionals to review the general medical content of this site, please remember that only your medical team can give you specific advice about your symptoms or illness. Fight Bladder Cancer is a registered Charitable Incorporated Organisation in Scotland (SC051881), England and Wales (1198773), and was initially established as an unincorporated charity in England and Wales (1157763). It also operates in Northern Ireland.