Cells: The smallest units of a structure in the body; the building blocks for all parts of the body.
Cervical Cytology: The study of cells taken from the cervix using a microscope; also called the Pap test.
Cervical Biopsy: A minor surgical procedure to remove a small piece of cervical tissue that is then examined under a microscope in a laboratory.
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.
Co-Testing: Use of both the Pap test and HPV test to screen for cervical cancer in women aged 30–65 years.
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV): A virus that attacks certain cells of the body’s immune system and causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).
Human Papillomavirus (HPV): The name for a group of related viruses, some of which cause genital warts and some of which are linked to cancer of the cervix, vulva, vagina, penis, anus, mouth, and throat.
Hysterectomy: Removal of the uterus.
Immune System: The body’s natural defense system against foreign substances and invading organisms, such as bacteria that cause disease.
Pap Test: A test in which cells are taken from the cervix and vagina and examined under a microscope.
Speculum: An instrument used to hold open the walls of the vagina.
Uterus: A muscular organ located in the female pelvis that contains and nourishes the developing fetus during pregnancy.
Vagina: A tube-like structure surrounded by muscles leading from the uterus to the outside of the body.
Vulva: The external female genital area.