Cells: The smallest units of a structure in the body; the building blocks for all parts of the body.
Cervical Biopsy: A minor surgical procedure to remove a small piece of cervical tissue that is then examined under a microscope in a laboratory.
Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia (CIN): A term used to describe abnormal changes in the cells of the cervix that are caused by infection with human papillomavirus. CIN is graded as 1 (low-grade), 2 (moderate), or 3 (high-grade).
Cervix: The lower, narrow end of the uterus at the top of the vagina.
Colposcopy: Viewing of the cervix, vulva, or vagina under magnification with an instrument called a colposcope.
Conization: A procedure in which a cone-shaped piece of tissue is removed from the cervix.
Cryotherapy: A freezing technique used to destroy diseased tissue; also known as “cold cautery.”
Human Papillomavirus (HPV): The name for a group of related viruses, some of which cause genital warts and some of which can cause cancer of the cervix, vulva, vagina, penis, anus, mouth, and throat.
Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure (LEEP): The removal of abnormal tissue from the cervix using a thin wire loop and electric energy.
Pap Test: A test in which cells are taken from the cervix and vagina and examined under a microscope.
Squamous Intraepithelial Lesion (SIL): A term used to describe abnormal cervical cells detected by the Pap test.