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Glossary

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List of terms beginning with Ab

Abdomen

Area of the body below the ribs and lungs and above the hip bones. Contains many of the body organs: stomach, small and large bowel, pancreas, liver, spleen, kidneys.

Abnormal smear

Cervical smear test showing evidence of precursor lesions in the cervix. Women who have an abnormal smear need further tests and in some cases treatment to remove the abnormal cells. An abnormal smear result does not mean that you have cancer.

Abscess

A swollen area within the body tissue, containing an accumulation of pus (dead white blood cells). Forms due to local bacterial infection.

Absolute risk

Likelihood of an event occurring in the population under study in a given time period.

Absolute survival difference

An absolute survival difference is the numerical difference when one survival rate is taken away from another.

Updated: 29 July 2009