PAP Smear: GlossaryMonday, April 23, 2012 - 13:03
Here are definitions of medical terms related to Pap smear.
AGUS: Stands for Atypical Glandular Cells of Undetermined Significance. This diagnostic category indicates that light changes in cells in cervical glands have been seen under the microscope.
ASCUS: Stands for Atypical Squamous Cells of Undetermined Significance. This diagnostic category indicates that slight changes in flat cells on the surface of the cervix have been seen under the microscope.
Biopsy: Removal of a small sample of living tissue that will be examined under a microscope to determine whether disease is present
Carcinoma: Same as cancer; an uncontrolled growth of cells that tends to invade surrounding tissue and spread to other locations
Cervix: The lower third of the uterus or womb. The cervix projects into the vagina and contains the canal through which sperm enter, menstrual flow exits, and babies are born.
Chlamydia: A sexually transmitted disease
Colposcopy: An examination of the vagina with a colposcope, an instrument that has a light source and lenses that project the inner surface of the vagina and cervix onto a television monitor
Ectocervix: The part of the cervix closest to the vagina
Endocervix: The part of the cervix closest to the body
Epithelium: A lining membrane
Fallopian tubes: The two ducts between the uterus and the ovary through which eggs made in the ovary travel to the uterus
Human papillomavirus (HPV): A virus that causes warts on the skin and mucous membranes, causes genital warts, and is implicated as a cause of cervical cancer; it has nothing to do with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS
Lesion: A wound or injury
Ovary: The two ovaries produce the eggs for reproduction every month.
Pelvic examination: A noninvasive gynecologic examination to detect abnormalities in female reproductive organs
Squamous cells: Flat, scale-like cells of the inner lining of the cervix
Spermicide: Any of various contraceptive creams inserted into the vagina before sexual intercourse to kill sperm and prevent pregnancy
Uterus: The womb. If a fertilized egg is implanted in the uterus pregnancy begins. If the monthly egg is not fertilized, menstrual flow occurs from the uterus
Vagina: The canal that leads from the outer opening in a woman's reproductive system to the mouth of the cervix