Glossary | Cancer Research UK
Cancer Research UK on Google+ Cancer Research UK on Facebook Cancer Research UK on Twitter
Skip navigation

Glossary

View glossary terms beginning with ...

  1. A
  2. B
  3. C
  4. D
  5. E
  6. F
  7. G
  8. H
  9. I
  10. J
  11. K
  12. L
  13. M
  14. N
  15. O
  16. P
  17. Q
  18. R
  19. S
  20. T
  21. U
  22. V
  23. W
  24. X
  25. Y
  26. Z
  27. [0-9]
  1. Va
  2. Vb
  3. Vc
  4. Vd
  5. Ve
  6. Vf
  7. Vg
  8. Vh
  9. Vi
  10. Vj
  11. Vk
  12. Vl
  13. Vm
  14. Vn
  15. Vo
  16. Vp
  17. Vq
  18. Vr
  19. Vs
  20. Vt
  21. Vu
  22. Vv
  23. Vw
  24. Vx
  25. Vy
  26. Vz
  27. V0-9

List of terms beginning with Va

VAIN

VAIN stands for vaginal intraepithelial neoplasia. It means there are abnormal cells in the tissue lining the vagina. The abnormal cells are only in the surface layer. The abnormal cells have not begun to grow into the deeper tissues of the vagina.

Vaccination

A vaccination (or vaccine) is a small amount of a weakened form of a disease. Your doctor gives you a vaccination so your body can learn to protect itself from the disease (immunity). Some vaccines are live so people having chemotherapy shouldn't have them.

Vagina

The vagina is the passage that leads from the cervix (the neck of the womb) to the vulva. The vagina is about 7.5 to 10 cm long and is the opening that allows blood to drain out each month during your menstrual period. The vagina opens and expands during sexual intercourse. It is also called the birth canal.

Vaginal dilators

A vaginal dilator is a plastic object used to stretch the vagina after surgery or radiotherapy to the pelvic area or cervix (the neck of the womb). The dilator can help to prevent the vagina becoming too narrow to have sex comfortably. It can also be used to prevent narrowing of the vagina after surgery that has caused nerve damage in that area.

Vaginal douche

Vaginal douche (also known as douching) means cleaning the inside of the vagina by rinsing with water. Douching used to be recommended after radiotherapy to the vagina or cervix (the neck of the womb), to prevent infection but this is not used now.

Vaginal intraepithelial neoplasia

Vaginal intraepithelial neoplasia (VAIN) means there are abnormal cells in the tissue lining the vagina. The abnormal cells are only in the surface layer. The abnormal cells have not begun to grow into the deeper tissues of the vagina.

Vaginal pack

A vaginal pack is gauze wadding which is put into the vagina. A vaginal pack may be used during internal radiotherapy. The pack helps to keep the applicators holding the radioactive source in place. The pack is also used to prevent bleeding after some types of gynaecological surgery.

Vagus

The vagus is a large and important nerve. The vagus nerve helps to control digestion by controlling the release of digestive juices. The vagus can be damaged during surgery to the digestive system, for example, a gastrectomy (removal of the stomach).

Valsalva manoeuvre

The valsalva manoeuvre is a way of increasing the pressure in the abdomen. After surgery to create a bladder (bladder reconstruction) you may need to use the valsalva manoeuvre to drain the new bladder. You hold your breath, close your throat and try to breathe out. This increases the pressure inside the abdomen, which pushes the urine out of the reconstructed bladder.

Updated: 29 June 2016