PROSTATE, CANCER OF
may occur but usually disappear as
produced by the
Prolactin helps to stimu-
late the development of the mammary
and to initiate and
maintain milk production for
prolactinoma A noncancerous tumour
that causes over-
In women, this
may result in
. In men, it may cause
. In either
sex, it may cause headaches,
, and, if the tumour presses on
the optic nerves, loss of the outer
. Diagnosis is made from
of the brain.
Treatment may involve removal of the
, or giving the drug
prolapse Displacement of part or all of
an organ or tissue from its normal posi-
tion in the body (see
uterus, prolapse of;
used as a sedative drug.
Possible adverse effects include abnor-
mal movements of the face and limbs,
drowsiness, lethargy, dry mouth, consti-
pation, and blurred vision. Long-term
treatment may cause
used to relieve itching in a variety of
skin conditions, such as
. It is
also used as an
sometimes as a
blurred vision, and drowsiness.
pronation The act of turning the body
to a prone (facedown) position, or the
hand to a palm backwards position.
used to treat
irritable bowel syndrome
and forms of
sible adverse effects include dry mouth,
blurred vision, and retention of urine.
prophylactic A drug, procedure, or piece
of equipment used to prevent disease;
. It may also be
used to reduce the risk of further heart
relieves symptoms of
and can prevent
attacks. Possible adverse effects are
typical of other beta-blocker drugs.
proprietary A term for a drug patented
for production by one company.
proprioception The body's internal sys-
tem for collecting information about its
position and the state of contraction of
its muscles. Information from proprio-
ceptors (sensory nerve endings in the
muscles, tendons, joints, and the inner
ear) passes to the spinal cord and the
brain. The information is used to make
adjustments so that posture and bal-
ance are maintained.
proptosis A term for protrusion.
propylthiouracil A drug used to treat
or to control its symp-
toms before a
adverse effects include itching, head-
ache, rash, joint pain, and decreased
production of white
prostaglandin One of a group of
that is made naturally in the body
and acts in a similar way to
Prostaglandins cause pain and inflam-
mation in damaged tissue, protect the
lining of the stomach and duodenum
against ulceration, lower blood pressure,
and stimulate contractions in labour.
prostaglandin drugs Synthetically pro-
. Dinoprostone is
. Gemeprost softens and helps to
dilate the cervix prior to inducing an
. Alprostadil is used to treat
newborn infants awaiting surgery for
some congenital heart diseases.
prostate, cancer of A cancerous growth
of unknown cause.
One of the most common cancers in
men, it mainly occurs in elderly men.
An enlarged prostate (see
) may cause symptoms including
difficulty in starting to pass urine, poor
urine flow, and increased frequency of
urination. Urine flow may eventually
cease altogether. When there are no uri-
nary symptoms, the first sign may be
pain in the bones from secondary cancers.
Screening tests detect blood levels of a
protein called prostate specific antigen;