Here is a glossary of commonly used terms in cervical cancer.
AGC (Atypical Glandular Cells) – Glandular cells are mucus-producing cells found in the endo-cervical canal (opening in the center of the cervix) or in the lining of the uterus. The glandular cells do not appear normal (atypical), but doctors are uncertain what the cell changes mean.
ASC (Atypical Squamous Cells) – Squamous cells form the surface of the cervix. There are two types of ASC; ASC-US and ASC-H.
ASC-H (Atypical Squamous Cells, cannot rule out high-grade lesion) – Pap test result that indicates changes in the cells and more likely than ASC-US to be caused by a precancerous change.
ASC-US (Atypical Squamous Cells, undetermined significance) – Pap test result that indicates changes in the cells. It is the most common Pap test result and is most commonly a result of a HPV infection, but can also indicate precancer.
CIN 1 – Pathology result in which mild dysplasia is present and only a very few abnormal cells are present.
CIN 2+- Pathology result in which moderate dysplasia is present and abnormal cells involve approximately one half the thickness of the surface lining of the cervix.
Colposcopy – A procedure in which the doctor visually examines the cervix, vulva or vagina using a Colposcope (device that proves magnification of the cervix during colposcopy).
Cervical Guide (CG) – A single-use disposable used during LuViva test. The Cervical Guide (CG) connects to the HHU (Hand Held Unit) and provides for calibration and is the patient interface necessary for the LuViva scan. The CG is inserted through the speculum and makes surface contact with the cervix.
Cytology – The study of the microscopic appearance of cells, esp. for the diagnosis of abnormalities and malignancies. i.e. Pap test
Dysplasia – Term used in pathology to reference changes in cell structure and growth that are abnormal (not normal changes in cell structure) and may indicate pre-cancerous changes.
Endocervix- The region of the opening of the cervix into the uterine cavity.
Endocervical Canal – The canal (or passageway) between the os and the uterine cavity.
Endocervical Curettage -A procedure often performed along with colposcopy as a means to identify hidden lesions in the endocervical canal. During this procedure, a small knife is inserted into the canal behind the cervical opening, and a tissue specimen is removed.
Ectocervix- The area of the cervix that extends into the vaginal area lined with epitheal cells.
HHU (Hand Held Unit) – Component of the LuViva that houses the spectrometer (scientific device used to measure light). The Cervical Guide attaches to the HHU before a test.
HPV (Human Papillomavirus) – Virus spread through skin and sexual contact that is a contributing factor to developing cervical cancer.
HSIL (High Grade Squamous Intraepithelial Lesion) – moderate to severe cellular changes on the cervix which are more advanced than LSIL and will typically progress to cancer.
LSIL (Low Grade Squamous Intraepithelial Lesion) – Abnormal cellular changes on the cervix, usually a result of a HPV infection and may indicate precancer.
Metaplasia – The change from one type of cell to another may generally be a part of normal maturation process or caused by some sort of abnormal stimulus. Normal cell transformation from columnar to squamous.
Morphological – The form and structure as related to cells. Abnormal morphological changes in cells can indicate pre-cancer.
Neoplasia – Abnormal growth of new cells.
Os – The opening of the cervix into the endo-cervical canal.
Pap Test – Test performed by physicians on women where cells are collected from the cervix.
Sensitivity – The accuracy of detecting a true abnormality (true positive).
Specificity – The accuracy of detecting a false abnormality (true negative).
Spectroscopy – The study of the effect of light when exposed to cellular tissue and measuring how the tissue reacts by chemical composition and physical properties.
Speculum – A medical tool that allows better viewing of the cervix by holding the vagina open.
Triage – The process of sorting patients to proper treatment based on the severity of their respective condition.