Cervical Cancer Glossary of Terms

The following are health and medical definitions of terms that appear in the Cervical Cancer article.

Abdomen: The belly, that part of the body that contains all of the structures between the...

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Ablation: Removal or excision. Ablation is usually carried out surgically. For example, su...

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Abnormal: Outside the expected norm, or uncharacteristic of a particular patient.

Abstinence: The voluntary self-denial of food, drink, or sex. Today, abstinence most commo...

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Anesthesia: Loss of feeling or awareness, as when an anesthetic is administered before sur...

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Basement membrane: A thin membrane that is composed of a single layer of cells.

Biological therapy: Treatment to stimulate or restore the ability of the immune (defense)...

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Biopsy: The removal of a sample of tissue for examination under a microscope to check for ...

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Birth control: Birth control is the use of any practices, methods, or devices to prevent p...

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Bladder: A hollow organ in the lower abdomen that stores urine. The kidneys filter waste f...

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Bowel: The small and large intestine.

Calorie: A unit of food energy. The word calorie is ordinarily used instead of the more pr...

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Cancer: An abnormal growth of cells which tend to proliferate in an uncontrolled way and, ...

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Cancer causes: In most individual cases of cancer, the exact cause of cancer is unknown. T...

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Cancer of the cervix: See: Cervical cancer.

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Cancer symptoms: Abnormal sensations or conditions that persons can notice that are a resu...

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Capsule: Capsule has many meanings in medicine including the following:

  1. In medici...

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Carcinoma: Cancer that begins in the skin or in tissues that line or cover body organs. Ex...

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Carcinoma in situ: Cancer that has stayed in the place where it began and has not spread t...

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Catheter: A thin, flexible tube.

Cauterization: The use of heat to destroy abnormal cells. Also known as diathermy and elec...

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Cell: The basic structural and functional unit of any living thing. Each cell is a small c...

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Cervical: Having to do with any kind of neck, including the neck on which the head is perc...

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Cervical cancer: Cancer of the entrance to the womb (uterus). The cervix is the lower, na...

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Cervical intraepithelial neoplasia: The growth of abnormal precancerous cells on the surfa...

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Cervix: The cervix is the lower, narrow part of the uterus (womb). The uterus, a hollow, ...

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Chemotherapy: 1. In the original sense, a chemical that binds to and specifically k...

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Chest: The area of the body located between the neck and the abdomen. The chest contains t...

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Clinical trial: A study that is intended to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of medic...

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Clinical trials: Trials to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of medications or medical...

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Colposcope: A lighted magnifying instrument used by a gynecologist to examine the tissues ...

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Colposcopy: A procedure in which a lighted magnifying instrument called a colposcope (or v...

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Cone: A type of specialized light-sensitive cell (photoreceptor) in the retina of the eye ...

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Conization: Surgery to remove a cone-shaped piece of tissue from the cervix and cervical c...

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Cryosurgery: Treatment performed with an instrument that freezes and destroys abnormal tis...

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CT scan: Computerized tomography scan. Pictures of structures within the body created by a...

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Cure: 1. To heal, to make well, to restore to good health. 2. A time withou...

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Diagnosis: 1 The nature of a disease; the identification of an illness. 2 A ...

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Diathermy: The use of heat to destroy abnormal cells. Also called cauterization or electro...

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Discharge: 1.The flow of fluid from part of the body, such as from the nose or vag...

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Drain: A device for removing fluid from a cavity or wound. A drain is typically a tube or ...

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Dysplasia: Abnormality in form or development. For example, retinal dysplasia is abnormal ...

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Emergency department: The department of a hospital responsible for the provision of medica...

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Excision: 1. Surgical removal, as in the excision of a tumor. 2. The remov...

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FDA: Food and Drug Administration.

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Fertility: The ability to conceive and bear children, the ability to become pregnant throu...

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Genital: Pertaining to the external and/or internal organs of reproduction.

Gynecologic oncologist: A physician who specializes in treating cancers of the female repr...

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Gynecologist: A physician who specializes in treating diseases of the female reproductive ...

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HIV: Acronym for the Human Immunodeficiency Virus, the cause of AIDS (acquired immunodefi...

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HPV: Human papillomavirus.

Human papillomavirus: HPV. A family of over 100 viruses including those which cause warts ...

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Hysterectomy: An operation to remove the uterus. Hysterectomies are most commonly performe...

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Immune: Protected against infection, usually by the presence of antibodies.

Immune system: A complex system that is responsible for distinguishing a person from every...

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Implant: 1. To embed; to set in firmly. In embryology, the fertilized egg implants ...

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In situ: In the normal location. An in situ tumor is one that is confined to its site of o...

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Incidence: The frequency with which something, such as a disease or trait, appears in a pa...

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Indicate: In medicine, to make a treatment or procedure advisable because of a particular ...

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Infection: The invasion and multiplication of microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, an...

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Injure: To harm, hurt, or wound. The word injure may be in physical or emotional sense. Fr...

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Intraepithelial: Within the layer of cells that forms the surface or lining of an organ. F...

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Invasive cervical cancer: Cancer that has spread from the surface of the cervix to tissue ...

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Laser: A powerful beam of light that is used in some types of surgery to cut or destroy ti...

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Laser surgery: A type of surgery that uses the cutting power of a laser beam to make blood...

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Lesion: An area of abnormal tissue change. Lesions vary in severity from harmless to serio...

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Liquid nitrogen: Nitrogen in a liquid state. Liquid nitrogen is supercool -- about 200 deg...

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Liver: The largest solid organ in the body, situated in the upper part of the abdomen on t...

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Local therapy: In the context of cancer, treatment that affects cells in the tumor and the...

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Lungs: The lungs are a pair of breathing organs located with the chest which remove carbon...

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Lymph: The almost colorless fluid that travels through the lymphatic system, carrying cell...

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Medical history: 1. In clinical medicine, the patient's past and present which may ...

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Membrane: A very thin layer of tissue that covers a 'surface.

Menopause: The time in a woman's life when menstrual periods permanently stop; it is also...

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Menstrual: Pertaining to menstruation (the menses), as in last menstrual period, menstrua...

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Menstruation: The periodic blood that flows as a discharge from the uterus. Also called me...

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Metastasis: 1. The process by which cancer spreads from the place at which it firs...

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Microscope: An optical instrument that augments the power of the eye to see small objects....

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Mouth: 1. The upper opening of the digestive tract, beginning with the lips and con...

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Nausea: Stomach queasiness, the urge to vomit. Nausea can be brought on by many causes, in...

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Neoplasia: Abnormal new growth of cells.

Nitrogen: Element number 7, a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that is biologically impo...

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Nutrition: 1) The science or practice of taking in and utilizing foods. 2) A nourishing ...

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Nutritionist: 1) In a hospital or nursing home, a person who plans and/or formulates spe...

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Oncologist: A physician who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. After a ...

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Operating room: A facility that is equipped for performing surgery. Abbreviated OR.

Operation: In medicine, a surgical procedure. Many operations are named after persons. The...

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Outpatient: A patient who is not hospitalized, but instead comes to a physician?s office, ...

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Oxygen: The odorless gas that is present in the air and necessary to maintain life. Oxygen...

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Pain: An unpleasant sensation that can range from mild, localized discomfort to agony. Pa...

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Pap Smear: A screening test for cervical cancer based on the examination of cells under th...

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Pap test: A screening test for cervical cancer that involves the microscopic examination o...

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Pathologist: A physician who identifies diseases and conditions by studying abnormal cells...

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Pelvic: Having to do with the pelvis, the lower part of the abdomen, located between the h...

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Pelvic exam: An examination of the organs of the female reproductive system.

Pelvis: The lower part of the abdomen, located between the hip bones. Structures in the fe...

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Precancerous: Pertaining to something that is not yet overtly cancerous, but appears to be...

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Prognosis: The forecast of the probable outcome or course of a disease; the patient's chan...

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Protein: One of the three nutrients used as energy sources (calories) by the body. Protein...

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Radiation: 1. Rays of energy. Gamma rays and X-rays are two of the types of energy ...

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Radiation oncologist: A physician whose specialty is the use of radiation therapy as a tre...

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Radiation therapy: The use of high-energy rays to damage cancer cells, stopping them from ...

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Radioactive: Emitting energy waves due to decaying atomic nuclei. Radioactive substances a...

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Radiotherapy: The treatment of disease with ionizing radiation. Also called radiation ther...

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Rectum: The last 6 to 8 inches of the large intestine. The rectum stores solid waste until...

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Recur: To occur again; to return. For example, a symptom, sign, or disease can recur.

Recurrence: The return of a sign, symptom, or disease after a remission. The reappearance ...

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Risk factor: Something that increases a person's chances of developing a disease. For exam...

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Scan: As a noun, the data or image obtained from the examination of organs or regions of...

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Sexually transmitted disease: Any disease transmitted by sexual contact; caused by microo...

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Sleep: The body's rest cycle.

Squamous intraepithelial lesion: A general term for the abnormal growth of squamous cells ...

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Stage: As regards cancer, the extent of a cancer, especially whether the disease has spre...

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Staging: stagingDoing exams and tests to learn the extent of a cancer, especially whether ...

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STD: Sexually transmitted disease.

Surgery: The branch of medicine that employs operations in the treatment of disease or inj...

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Symptom: Any subjective evidence of disease. In contrast, a sign is objective. Blood comin...

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Systemic: Affecting the entire body. A systemic disease such as diabetes can affect the wh...

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Therapy: The treatment of disease. Therapy is synonymous with treatment.

Tubes: The "tubes" are medically known as the Fallopian tubes. There are two Fallopian tub...

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Tumor: An abnormal mass of tissue. Tumors are a classic sign of inflammation, and can be ...

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Uncertainty: "Medicine's ground state is uncertainty. And wisdom -- for both patients and ...

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Urine: Liquid waste produced by the kidneys. Urine is a clear, transparent fluid that norm...

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Uterus: A hollow, pear-shaped organ that is located in a woman's lower abdomen, between th...

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Vaccines: Microbial preparations of killed or modified microorganisms that can stimulate a...

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Vagina: The muscular canal that extends from the cervix to the outside of the body. It is ...

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Vaginal discharge: Vaginal discharge is a fluid produced by glands in the vaginal wall and...

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Virus: A microorganism that is smaller than a bacterium that cannot grow or reproduce apar...

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Vital: Necessary to maintain life. For example, breathing is a vital function.

Voluntary: Done in accordance with the conscious will of the individual. The opposite of i...

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Vulvar: Pertaining to the vulva, the female external genitalia including the labia majora,...

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Womb: The womb (uterus) is a hollow, pear-shaped organ located in a woman's lower abdomen ...

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X-ray: High-energy radiation with waves shorter than those of visible light. X-ray is used...

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