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cervical cancer vaccine: safe or not?
Posted by: space-time
Date: November 28, 2008 01:33PM
A friend (working in Greece right now) called me to ask if I heard anything about a cervical cancer vaccine. His daughter (10) in Romania is supposed to get this shot (in fact 2 shots) and the parents are asked to sign a consent form. The shot is paid by the government.

The press back home reported there are serious side effects, and sometimes even deaths. He does not have internet access (and does not speak English), so he called me to see if I find any information about this.

I found this 2 articles (and several other)

[www.cnn.com]
Quote

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
7,802 "adverse event" reports to CDC since Gardasil was approved
Reports claim drug caused nausea and paralysis -- even death
Vaccine manufacturer: Reports don't mean illnesses were caused by drug
Two girls allege in court that the vaccine made them sick

[www.cnn.com]

I am not doctor, but the fact that this vaccine is relatively new and there are reported side effects, and most important, the same effect can be obtained with proper sexual education (use a condom and don't have sex with many partners) seems like it's a logical choice to avoid this vaccine.

I told him my opinion, and now he's mulling whether the gils should get the shot or not. but I think he's leaning against it.

Also this shot is offered only in 7 countries of the EU (at least that what he told me), so not everyone is getting the shot. Seems like a scam to me, since the Romanian government is often very corrupt, and most likely someone is getting a kickback from the manufacturer or distributor of this vaccine over there, since now they sell million of shots.

What would you do if you had a teenager daughter, give the shot or not?
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Re: cervical cancer vaccine: safe or not?
Posted by: sekker
Date: November 28, 2008 01:42PM
My daughter is 10, and I will have her vaccinated when the time comes.

This vaccine covers several diseases, and the risk of side-effects seem to be no worse than the flu shot as far as I can tell.

I certainly hope to be progressive regarding her sexual education, but it's foolish IMHO to assume that my daughter will be immune to peer pressure or other issues common in teenage culture.

I'm also not sure even the proper use of condoms - which would require a willing partner - is as good as the vaccine at preventing this particular family of STDs.

Are vaccines perfect? No. Are the health risks associated with these viruses life-threatening? Absolutely.

As usual, you need to make the best choice you feel for your family. But in my opinion, this is a no-brainer.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/28/2008 01:43PM by sekker.
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Re: cervical cancer vaccine: safe or not?
Posted by: freeradical
Date: November 28, 2008 01:46PM
I have not heard of any unusual safety issues regarding this vaccine. I have however read stories that the efficacy of the vaccine is not as great as is claimed by the manufacturer. IIRC, there was a pretty good article at the NYT website about this. A least the Romanian parents appear to have a choice here. A vaccine such as this should not be mandatory.
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Re: cervical cancer vaccine: safe or not?
Posted by: Golfer
Date: November 28, 2008 01:55PM
We debated the same thing with our daughter. Our local small town docs seemed less than informed on the subject. When my wife went to GYN in the city she told my wife that she wouldn't walk to the doc's office to get the vaccine, she'd run. She said the number of cervical cancer cases had significantly dropped in her practice since the vaccine had come out, something like 80%-90% less.
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Re: cervical cancer vaccine: safe or not?
Posted by: mattkime
Date: November 28, 2008 01:59PM
there's a lot of @#$%& science and speculation regarding this.

the vast majority of the controversy comes from rather eccentric people who believe that its bad to get rid of diseases related to having sex since god doesn't want you to have sex before marriage. this is typically the same group thats against sex-ed.

there are also groups that are against vaccinations because they link them to a variety of not fully explained illnesses. i think a big part of the reason these people feel safe going with vaccines is because the vaccines have been so successful. however, that does _not_ make it okay to go without vaccinations because the disease could get a toe hold into society which increases possibility that it outsmarts the vaccine.

the health of society and individuals within it are _far_ better if everyone gets vaccinated, the disease is wiped out, and both the disease and those that are vulnerable to it exist in extremely small numbers.

so get vaccinated to matter how sure you are that your daughter won't have sex until the proper moment.



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Re: cervical cancer vaccine: safe or not?
Posted by: freeradical
Date: November 28, 2008 02:28PM
Here's an editorial from some eccentric Doctor writing in THe New England Journal of Medicine

"Despite great expectations and promising results of clinical trials, we still lack sufficient evidence of an effective vaccine against cervical cancer. Several strains of human papillomavirus (HPV) can cause cervical cancer, and two vaccines directed against the currently most important oncogenic strains (i.e., the HPV-16 and HPV-18 serotypes) have been developed. That is the good news. The bad news is that the overall effect of the vaccines on cervical cancer remains unknown. As Kim and Goldie1 point out in this issue of the Journal, the real impact of HPV vaccination on cervical cancer will not be observable for decades....

...With so many essential questions still unanswered, there is good reason to be cautious about introducing large-scale vaccination programs. Instead, we should concentrate on finding more solid answers through research rather than base consequential and costly decisions on yet unproven assumptions."


[content.nejm.org]
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Re: cervical cancer vaccine: safe or not?
Posted by: dochocson
Date: November 28, 2008 02:34PM
Also, it is not strictly an issue of multipe sexual partners. The U. of Washington did a study testing women for HPV exposure after their "sexual debut". Over 90% tested positive for HPV after their first sexual encounter.

This is why the vaccine is so valuable: monogamy is not really protective.

I have 2 daughters and they will be vaccinated. My son is 15, and when the vaccine is approved for boys, he'll get it too.
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Re: cervical cancer vaccine: safe or not?
Posted by: Article Accelerator
Date: November 28, 2008 02:57PM
Don't forget to remove his tonsils because they might get infected too.
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Re: cervical cancer vaccine: safe or not?
Posted by: BigGuynRusty
Date: November 28, 2008 03:04PM
Quote
Article Accelerator
Don't forget to remove his tonsils because they might get infected too.
Also that pesky Appendix!!

BGnR



"Good heavens, Miss Sakamoto! You're beautiful!"
"If we dig precious things from the land, we will invite disaster."
"Near the day of Purification, there will be cobwebs spun back and forth in the sky."
"A container of ashes might one day be thrown from the sky, which could burn the land and boil the oceans."
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Re: cervical cancer vaccine: safe or not?
Posted by: estnyc
Date: November 28, 2008 04:23PM
Well, condoms don't prevent all skin-to-skin contact, so it's possible to get the virus even with "safe sex." So that's not really an answer.

I've read that some doctors think boys should get the vaccine, for the same reason (not cervical cancer, but to keep away those ikky warts).



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Re: cervical cancer vaccine: safe or not?
Posted by: Speedy
Date: November 28, 2008 05:10PM
My daughter, age 18, has been vaccinated. She is immunosuppressed because she has a kidney transplant and her transplant docs pushed the vaccine hard. They normally take a wait-and-see attitude towards 'new' vaccines to make sure they are safe to use in their constituent population. This one was determined to be safe.



Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where the weather is wonderful even when it isn't.
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Re: cervical cancer vaccine: safe or not?
Posted by: pdq
Date: November 28, 2008 05:12PM
Pretty much all vaccines have a very small risk of Guillain-Barre syndrome (paralysis, usually temporary- you can wiki it). It's about a 1 in 100,000 risk, and I haven't heard of the HPV vaccines having a higher incidence.

You know, even if a woman were honest-to-god celibate before marriage, there is still a (fairly good) chance she will get HPV if her husband wasn't. (celibate, that is)

My daughters have both been vaccinated. Cervical cancer is bad, bad juju.
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Re: cervical cancer vaccine: safe or not?
Posted by: BigGuynRusty
Date: November 28, 2008 05:23PM
Since HPV is a Virus, it can be spread by about anything.
Fingers
Tongues
Toys
Vegetables & Fruits.
Not just a Penis.
It just isn't males that are spreading HPV.

BGnR



"Good heavens, Miss Sakamoto! You're beautiful!"
"If we dig precious things from the land, we will invite disaster."
"Near the day of Purification, there will be cobwebs spun back and forth in the sky."
"A container of ashes might one day be thrown from the sky, which could burn the land and boil the oceans."
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Re: cervical cancer vaccine: safe or not?
Posted by: samintx
Date: November 28, 2008 06:23PM
Cervical cancer is hard to detect till it is too late, so I'm told. The governor of TX tried to require it for girls.

Safe? well, from what I read the jury is still out. You get two sides to the question. Right now I think it is expensive. Eventually, we will have better answers when time passes and they can see what has happened to those that have had the shot.
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Re: cervical cancer vaccine: safe or not?
Posted by: vicrock
Date: November 28, 2008 07:13PM
If I had a daughter in that age range, I'd be standing in line with her at the Dr.

Cervical cancer is not something you want to wish on anyone - it can compromise a woman's ability to have children if it occurs early in life.
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Re: cervical cancer vaccine: safe or not?
Posted by: space-time
Date: November 28, 2008 10:47PM
how frequent is this type of cancer?
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Re: cervical cancer vaccine: safe or not?
Posted by: Filliam H. Muffman
Date: November 29, 2008 12:43AM
"It is estimated that 11,070 women will be diagnosed with and 3,870 women will die of cancer of the cervix uteri in 2008" [in the US].
[seer.cancer.gov]

[en.wikipedia.org]



In tha 360. MRF User Map



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/29/2008 12:46AM by Filliam H. Muffman.
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Re: cervical cancer vaccine: safe or not?
Posted by: Article Accelerator
Date: November 29, 2008 01:28AM
[www.cato.org]
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Re: cervical cancer vaccine: safe or not?
Posted by: freeradical
Date: November 29, 2008 11:57AM
Quote
Article Accelerator
[www.cato.org]

Good article.

Thanks
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