Glossary

 
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    AIDS 
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    HPV Vaccine
    Human Papilloma Virus
    Imiquimod cream 
    Immunocompromised  
        patient
    Immunosuppression   
    Intraepithelial  
    Neoplasia 
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    Perianal skin
    Photodynamic Therapy
    Piles 
    Precancerous 
    Proctoscopy  
    Skin tags (anal)
    Warts (in general)
 
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Acetic Acid
(Ethanoic acid) Active ingredient in vinegar. It is administered in the back passage during anoscopy to identify AIN areas and biopsy them.
 
AIN
Anal Intraepithelial Neoplasia is characterised by the presence of abnormal cells that it is believed that it may precede anal cancer. 
 
AIN 1
Grade 1 AIN is Anal Intraepithelial Neoplasia characterised by mild changes of the abnormal cells.
 
AIN 2
Grade 2 AIN is Anal Intraepithelial Neoplasia characterised by moderate changes of the abnormal cells.
 
AIN 3
Grade 3 AIN is Anal Intraepithelial Neoplasia characterised by severe changes of the abnormal cells. It is thought to be one step before anal cancer.
 
Anal
Pertaining to the anus, the back passage.
 
Anal canal
The anal canal is the final part of the digestive tract. It is situated between the rectum and anus. It is approximately 3 to 4 cm long and narrower than the rectum.
 
Anal cancer
Anal cancer arises from the cells around the anal opening (verge) or within the anal canal up to its junction with the rectum. Most anal cancers arise from skin cells and are called squamous cell carcinomas. Some arise from the special mucosal cells lining the upper anal canal. Cells that are becoming malignant but have not invaded below the surface are "pre-cancerous"  This condition is called Bowen's disease (AIN 3).  
  
Anal cytology
Anal cytology may become a useful screening tool to detect AIN, particularly in HIV-positive men. It is similar to the cervical PAP test. It detects abnormal cells (AIN) that have been swabbed from the anus.
 
Anal Dysplasia
Synonym of AIN.
 
Anal intercourse
Anal sex
 
Anal intraepithelial Neoplasia
AIN is characterised by the presence of abnormal cells that it is believed that it may precede anal cancer. 
 
Anal warts
Also called Condylomata acuminata. A very contagious sexually transmitted viral infection, caused by human papillomavirus. A wart is a generally small, rough with a cauliflower-like appearance.
 
Anoscopy
A visual examination of the anal canal with an anoscope
 
Anus
(Back passage) The anus is the name for the muscular area at the very end of the large bowel. It is the muscle which opens and closes to control bowel movements, and is where the bowel opens to the outside of the body. This muscle is also called a sphincter.
 
Biopsy
The removal of a sample of tissue followed by microscopic examination by a pathologist to see whether abnormal or cancer cells are present.
 
Cancer
Cancer describes a set of diseases in which normal cells in the body, through a series of genetic changes, lose the ability to control their growth and to respect their neighbors. As cancers grow, they invade the tissues around them (local invasion). They may also spread to other locations in the body via the blood vessels or lymphatic channels where they may implant and grow (metastases). Tumors, or growths in the body, may be benign or malignant (cancerous). When they are benign they may grow but they do not spread to other locations. Malignant tumors have the ability to invade deeply and to spread (metastasize).
 
Cervical Cancer
a malignant disease in the neck of the womb located at the top of the vagina
 
CIN
See Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia below.
 
Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia
Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia is a general term for the growth of abnormal cells on the surface of the cervix. Numbers from 1 to 3 may be used to describe how much of the cervix contains abnormal cells similarly to AIN 1-3.
  
Cytology
The study of cells taken as samples during procedures like a Pap smear
  
Dysplasia
Abnormal cells that are not cancer.
 
Haemorrhoids
(Piles) swollen blood vessels in and around the anus that cause itching, pain, and sometimes bleeding
 
HIV
Human immunodeficiency virus. The virus that causes AIDS
 
AIDS
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome is a disease caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which kills or impairs cells of the immune system and progressively destroys the body's ability to fight infections and certain cancers. HIV is most commonly spread by sexual contact with an infected partner. The term AIDS applies to the most advanced stages of an HIV infection.
 
HPV
See Human Papilloma Virus below
 
HPV Vaccine
A vaccine, not yet available, that Researchers from several U.S. medical institutions have reported that it provides protection against HPV16 infection and related cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) for at least 3.5 years after immunization. There are no data for its use in AIN yet.
  
Human Papilloma Virus
Human Papilloma Virus is a group of viruses that can cause infection in the skin surface of different areas of the body including the genital area. The virus can cause visible warts of the skin or may only cause microscopic changes in the cells of the skin.
 
Imiquimod cream
A substance that improves the body's natural response to infection and disease. It is being studied as a topical agent (something used on the surface of the body) for the prevention of some types of cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called biological response modifiers.
 
Immunocompromised patient  
Immunocompromised patients are those patients whose immune systems are in a very weakened state. It is associated with HIV and In some cases, immunosuppression may be attributed to medications used to help fight organ transplant rejection.
 
Immunosuppression
Having a weakened immune system caused by certain diseases or drugs. This condition is sometimes present in the very young and the very old, in patients with HIV, and in patients who have received a bone marrow transplant
 
Intra anal
Inside the anus (back passage) or in the anal canal
 
Intraepithelial
within or among the cells of the tissues that cover body surfaces and line cavities such as the anus.
 
Neoplasia
an abnormal cell growth that may progress to cancer
 
PDT
See Photodynamic Therapy below.
  
Perianal skin
the skin around the anal opening
 
Photodynamic Therapy
The use of a chemical, given orally (by mouth), intravenously (through the blood vessels) or topically (directly to the skin), that can be activated or energized by light to destroy a target tissue. This activation causes the formation of new molecules and free radicals that form other chemicals that, in turn, may destroy the targeted material to a varying extent.
  
Piles
See haemorrhoids above.
 
Precancerous
A term used to describe a condition that may or is likely to become cancer if left untreated. Also called premalignant
 
Proctoscopy
The visual examination of the anus and part of the rectum by means of a proctoscope
 
Skin tags (anal)
A small outgrowth or polyp of the anus
 
Warts (in general)
A wart is a generally small, rough, cauliflower-like growth, typically on hands and feet. Warts are common and contagious, and are caused by a viral infection, specifically by the aerobic Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). They typically disappear after a few months but can last for years and can recur. A few Papilloma viruses are known to cause cancer

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