Gardasil: Fear or Facts?

Hudson Spinal Health & Wellness

Fear or Facts? On which will you base your decision to vaccinate? While we will not try to convince anyone to get vaccinated or decline vaccination, we do encourage making an educated decision and to NEVER make a major decision out of fear. One of the most disturbing cases of fear-mongering is that which revolves around the Gardasil vaccination. The Gardasil vaccine is targeted to females ages 9-26 in hopes of”preventing” cervical cancer.

Here are some facts you need to know about HPV:

  • When detected in the early stages, the HPV virus is easily treated and rarely proceeds to cancer.
  • Not all women with HPV develop cervical cancer.
  • HPV is just one of several potential causes of cervical cancer.
  • At least 50% of sexually active men and women acquire genital HPV infection at some point in their lives — and 90% of the time the virus clears up on its own within two years, and does not lead to cancer.

Facts about Cervical Cancer

  • Cervical cancer accounts for less than 1% of all cancer deaths.
  • Just over 11,000 new cases were diagnosed in 2009 (American Cancer Society)
  • About 4,000 women died of cervical cancer in 2009 (American Cancer Society)
  • Perspective: Cervical cancer killed 12 times fewer people in 2009 than did hospital-acquired infections (48,000 deaths per year according to Archives of Internal Medicine 02/22/2010). Every year more than 500,000 American women die from cardiovascular disease. Heart disease actually kills more women than all forms of cancer combined.
  • In the rare instances where it does occur, cervical cancer usually takes five to ten years to develop.
  • Prior to cancer, HPV causes the growth of abnormal cells in the cervix, which can be detected by a Pap smear. Upon detection, abnormal cells can be removed by minor surgery.
  • Smoking is an important risk factor for developing cervical cancer. Smokers are at least twice as likely as non-smokers to develop cervix tumors.
  • HRT increases the risk of cervical cancer.
  • Birth Control pills increase the risk of cervical cancer.
  • Estrogen dominance can increase the risk of cervical cancer
  • Cervical cancer incidence and mortality rates continue to decline because of decreased rates of smokers and HRT users.

Facts about Gardasil

  • Merck claims it prevents the cervix from being affected by HPV. HPV is just one of several causes of cervical cancer.
  • It does not protect against all forms of HPV.
  • Duration of”protection” after vaccination is predicted to be about 4 years.
  • There are no long term studies determining safety or effectiveness.
  • Gardasil contains 225 mcg of aluminum
  • One in every 1,855 Gardasil shots is followed by a bad health outcome report to the government’s Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System.
  • As of March 2010, there were more than 17,600 reports of adverse reactions regarding the Gardasil vaccine in the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System.
  • Among them are 59 deaths, 18 of which were among girls under the age of 17.
  • It is estimated that less than 10% of all vaccine reactions are reported.
  • At $120 a pop, the three required doses of Gardasil will earn Merck $360 per consumer. With more than 35 million girls and women between the ages of 9 and 26 in the US, the recommended administration of Gardasil could mean more than 12 billion dollars for the drug company.
  • Merck is currently fighting more than 11,500 lawsuits related to another of their drugs, Vioxx, which is also plagued by controversy surrounding false data on its safety.
  • Merck only studied the Gardasil vaccine in less than 1,200 girls under the age of 16 prior to it being released to the market under the fast-tracked road to licensure.
  • Because the vaccine does not protect against all types of HPV, it will not prevent all cases of cervical cancer or genital warts. About 30% of cervical cancers will not be prevented by the vaccine.

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Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.