by Paul Paul D Maher, MD MPH
Monday May 24, 2010
Where to begin, well Gardasil is a vaccine to prevent cancer, specifically cervical cancer. So can we at least acknowledge that since the initiation of the “War on Cancer” Western medicine has developed a dramatically thorough understanding of the etiology and treatment of cancer which has saved countless lives and virtually eliminated this frightful scourge? Wait, reverse that. Though I did like it better when we were making war on things like cancer and drugs and poverty, much better than the current “war on people” variety. So let’s really route the enemy by creating a cancer vaccine, that approach could never fail!
So how complete is the understanding of cervical cancer that we can create a preventive vaccine? Well cervical cancer is said to be caused by human papiloma virus though I believe a more accurate description, and to its credit Wikipedia uses the term, is that HPV is a “risk factor” for cervical cancer. Put another way it is seen in association with cervical cancer. As the cliche goes, association is not causation.
Association is not causation – hmm brilliant comment. I believe that is what Merck is saying about the deaths and adverse reactions from Gardasil. Association is not causation……..think I will spin that into a press release.
After all spinning is what marketing people do.