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Glossary

 

Abnormal: not normal, usually in a way that can cause problems

Advanced: a disease process that is no longer at the initial stages of disease

Annual: every year

Biopsy: removing tissue to test for disease

Cell: the smallest building block of a living thing

Cervical Cancer: cancer of the cervix

Cervix: the lower, narrow part of the uterus, or womb

Clinical Study: a scientific study that looks for new ways to prevent, diagnose or treat disease

Colposcope: a magnifying tool used to closely look at the cervix

Colposcopy: a test that uses a colposcope to closely look at the cervix

Co-testing: the HPV test used along with Pap testing

Deductible: the amount of money that you must pay before an insurance company will pay a claim

Detect: to look to see if something is there

Diagnose: to identify an illness by looking at the symptoms

Discharge: fluid from the vagina

Disease: an illness or sickness

False Negative: a test result that is reported as negative when in fact disease is present

False Positive: a test result that is reported as positive when in fact the patient does not have the disease

FDA: the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, responsible for protecting public health and safety

FDA approval: given when the FDA decides that the benefits of a drug, device or procedure are greater than the risks

Guidelines: general recommendations for clinicians established by expert groups

HPV (human papillomavirus): a common virus that is passed from person to person through skin-to-skin contact

Immune System: the body’s protection against sickness

Immunity: the ability to fight infection without becoming sick

Negative: in a medical test, a negative result means that there is no sign of disease

Pap: a test to identify cancerous cells in the cervix; used since the 1940s

Pool or Pooled: refers to HPV test results (negative or positive) for a group of high-risk HPV types without specifically providing results on any single type of HPV

Positive: in a medical test, a positive results means that disease is present

Pre-cancer: cells that show signs of abnormalities that may lead to cancer 

Prevent: to stop something from happening

Sample: in HPV and Pap testing, a small amount of cells that are tested 

Screening: to test for disease or risk of disease

Speculum: a medical tool used to investigate body orifices. In cervical cancer screening, its used to look into the vagina in order to collect cell samples from the cervix.

Symptom: a sign of disease

Vaccine: used to provide protection or immunity against disease

Vagina: the passage from the uterus (womb) to the opening of the vulva

Virus: a very small living thing that can cause diseases; viruses can only replicate inside a living host, such as a human or animal

Vulva: the outer opening of the vagina; the female genitals