July 23, 2009
Cervical cancer is the second-most common cancer in women. Every year in the United States, about 12,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer, and almost 4,000 women die from this disease. The cost of treating cervical cancer has now reached $2 billion a year.
Now, a vaccine is available that could help prevent 70 percent of cervical cancer cases.
HPV, or human papillomavirus, a virus transmitted through sexual contact, is the major cause of cervical cancer in women and other genital cancers in women and men. HPV is the most common sexually transmitted disease in the United States. Half of all sexually active men and women will become infected with HPV, and the virus is even more common in younger people.
There are about 100 types of HPV, but only two account for 90 percent of genital warts and another two account for 70 percent of cervical cancers. In June 2006, the Food and Drug Administration approved Merck & Co.’s Gardasil vaccine, which prevents the four types of HPV that cause most cases of cervical cancer and genital warts.
The Gardasil vaccine was licensed by the FDA and approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as safe and effective in preventing serious HPV-related diseases. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend the vaccine, which is most effective when given before the onset of sexual activity.The CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends three-dose vaccination of girls ages 11 and 12 years. The vaccine also is recommended for girls and women ages 13- to 26-years-old who have not yet been vaccinated or who have not received all three doses. In January, a Gardasil vaccine for boys ages 9 to 26 was submitted to the FDA for review and approval.
Comment from Leslie
This newspaper just happens to be in the town where I air my radio shows. Interesting. It is filled with outdated and erroneous information. Am only posting so that people are aware of health department propaganda campaigns.