Glossary of terms HPV

Biopsy

A biopsy is a medical procedure, which involves removing cells or a sample of tissue from the body, to examine it more closely in a laboratory.20

Cervical Cancer

A type of cancer that starts in the cervix, which is the lower part of the uterus.3

Cervix

The cervix is the lower part of the uterus, where the uterus joins with the top end of the vagina.3

Colposcopy

A medical procedure that allows a doctor to closely examine a woman's cervix, vagina and vulva for signs of disease.19

Human Papillomaviruses (HPV)

HPV is a common virus that can cause a variety of conditions from genital warts to cervical cancer. Of the 100 HPV types, there are 14 high-risk strains which can cause cervical cancer.9, 10 Of these 14 high-risk strains, HPV 16 and 18 are considered the highest risk and cause 70% of all cervical cancer cases.11

HPV 16

HPV 16 is one of the highest-risk types of HPV with respect to developing cervical cancer. HPV 16 (together with HPV 18) cause approximately 70% of all cervical cancer cases.11

HPV 18

HPV 18 is one of the highest-risk types of HPV with respect to developing cervical cancer. HPV 18 (together with HPV 16) cause approximately 70% of all cervical cancer cases.11

High-risk HPV test

The high-risk HPV test detects the presence of the HPV virus to determine whether a woman is at risk of cervical pre-cancer. The HPV test can be done with or separately from a Pap smear.5

Pap smear

A Pap smear is a procedure to collect cells from the surface of the cervix and vagina. A swab is used to collect cells from the cervix and vagina. The cells are then viewed under a microscope to find out if they are abnormal.5