• Home
  • Just Life
  • Product Reviews
  • Entertainment Reviews
  • Contact

Sunday, November 14, 2010

To Gardisil or Not?

First Published on Technorati by Tina Case

I have been closely following the news on the cervical cancer vaccine known as Gardisil. Cervical cancer is the most prevalent cancer among women according to the WHO (World Health Organization). Cervical cancer is responsible for over a quarter million deaths every year. But it is important to note - 85% of those cases are in developing countries. I'll get back to this number in a minute.

What's important to understand is that the cause of cervical cancer is by a sexually transmitted microbe known as HPV or the human papillomavirus. Many newsworthy cancers such as breast cancer or prostate cancer have a genetic predisposition and are not caused by a virus.

For the past few years when our three daughters had their annual physical, our doctor would gently encourage us to consider giving them the Gardisil vaccine. The information they provided was sparse, mainly a small brochure. So when my oldest daughter was ready to enter college, we thought this was a no brainer. Without question, and at the advice of our doctor, we proceeded to have it administered. After all, if you could prevent a disease such as cancer with your child, you would, wouldn't you?

Unfortunately her experience with the first of the three shot series was alarming. To be fair, she did have a meningitis vaccine during the same visit. But as soon as the Gardisil shot was administered, she quickly lost all color to her face and became faint. She was nauseaus, dizzy, cold, and complained of a strange "buzzing" feeling all over. For over 15 minutes she could not get up from the gurney. This was when I realized I could not take the advice of a doctor without question. I had to take a front seat and do more research before giving-in to a doctor's recommendation. I have two other daughters to consider.

So, back to that number at the beginning of this article. If 85% of cervical deaths are in developing countries, what percent are in the United States? Figures from the National Cervical Cancer Coalition show about 11%, or about 11,000 females are diagnosed with cervical cancer which results in about 4000 deaths annually. There are roughly 15 Million females in the country, so this number is a scare .00027 of that population.

No doubt, it is a medical marvel that a vaccine for this form of cancer has been developed. But is this a case of the pharmaceutical companies bombarding us with ads and commercials about how critical this vaccine is when in fact such a small number in the U.S. actually die of this disease? And of those developing countries, would other forms of sexual practice (including monogamy) be a less invasive practice (or is that just too unrealistic)? And, how many people die from the vaccine itself?

Cervical cancer, all cancers in fact, are not pandemic. Tuberculosis, small pox, certain flu viruses - are examples of pandemic, infectious diseases. These are spread from human to human and have no boundaries or class distinction. Vaccines prevent thousands, if not millions, of deaths annually especially with pandemics. But should a vaccine such as Gardisil or Cervarix be recommended to every single female in the U.S. when such a small percentage actually contract this disease? Or should it be more targeted?

Every vaccine has negative consequences and side affects to consider as well. The Center for Disease Control lists a number of adverse side affects including a reported 56 deaths due to the vaccine.

Before you casually allow your daughter to get this shot, do a little more research including the values you teach them about relationships. While my eldest did continue with the other two shots in the series, I'm not certain what we'll decide for my other two daughters. We may allow them to make that decision on their own when they are of age.

1 comment:

  1. Cancer is a disease for over 20 years ago families suffer through the different stages it generates, is cancer of the colon, skin, kidneys, best known to the pancreas, ie we would take to list them, but is certain is that millions of people have fought this disease and have been victorious, and that not only painkillers such as Vicodin, Norco, helped fight the pain, but also chemotherapies that were made were efficient to eliminate the disease , as noted Findrxonline defeat this form of cancer has become an anthem worldwide, as everything is possible if one wants to succeed.


Please leave your comment here. We request word verification to prevent the spammers out there. Thanks a lot!