Pap Smear Glossary of Terms

The following are health and medical definitions of terms that appear in the Pap Smear article.

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

Adenocarcinoma: A cancer that develops in the lining or inner surface of an organ and usua...

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

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Atypical: Unusual, or not fitting a single diagnostic
category.

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

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Cancer of the cervix: See: Cervical cancer.

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

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

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Fixative: A medium such as a solution or spray that preserves specimens of tissues or cell...

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

Herpes: A family of viruses. Herpes also refers to infection with one of the human herpesv...

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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 immunodeficiency virus: HIV, the cause of AIDS. HIV has also been called the human...

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

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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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Immunodeficiency: The inability to form a normal immune response. Immunodeficiency can be ...

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

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

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

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

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Microscopic: So small it cannot be seen without the aid of microscope. As opposed to macro...

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Mucus: A thick fluid that is produced by the lining of some organs of the body.

Neoplasia: Abnormal new growth of cells.

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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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.

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

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Pregnancy: The state of carrying a developing embryo or fetus within the female body. Thi...

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Speculum: An instrument that is used to widen the opening of the vagina so that the cervix...

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Squamous cells: Flat cells that look like fish scales. The word "squamous" came from the L...

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

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Stomach: The digestive organ that is located in the upper abdomen, under the ribs. The upp...

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Trichomonas: A single-celled protozoan parasite best known in medicine because one species...

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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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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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Viral: Of or pertaining to a virus. For example, if a person has a viral rash, the rash wa...

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

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