Your shopping basket is empty.

Get help: Glossary


ACC Advanced Cancer Coalition

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

CCG clinical commissioning groups

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

confocal laser endomicroscopy an advanced imaging technique for diagnosis

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

ECPC European Cancer Patient Coalition

ED erectile dysfunction

EMA European Medicines Agency, responsible for ensuring that all medicines within the EU are high quality, safe and effective

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


FDA Food and Drugs Administration (USA)

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

HSE Health and Safety Executive


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 scaly

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

Get in touch

We’ve done everything we can to make all the information on this site as accurate as possible. Whilst we have had support from a small team of medical professionals advisors 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. We encourage you to discuss any potential options with them.