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Deadly cervical cancer can be prevented, says survivor
Original post made
on Jan 30, 2012
The biggest drawback to eliminating cervical cancer is the stigma, Tamika Felder told the Lunch and Learn crowd at a recent meeting at Roche Molecular Systems in Pleasanton.
Read the full story here Web Link
posted Monday, January 30, 2012, 6:09 AM
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Posted by No to Gardasil
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 2, 2012 at 2:32 pm
"Obviously it doesn't kill every person who gets it, but in those people in whom it causes cervical or other cancers, it leads to death in a large number of cases. "
4,021 deaths from cervical cancer according to the CDC (2007 data). Those deaths, according to the CDC and FDA could have been prevented if they had had the preventive pap smear and detected the abnormal cells before they had the chance to become cancer. An annual pap test is what we need for every female in the US.
"Varicella zoster virus only kills a small fraction of the people who get it as well, but I wouldn't skip the chicken pox vaccine in my children either, would you?"
It is different. Chicken pox is highly contagious by being in a public place with an infected person, HPV is not. Also, there are no tests to detect abnormal changes in one's body to prevent the development of chicken pox. There is however, a test (pap) that will detect abnormal changes in the cells.
"That was true for many decades for the tetanus vaccine also. Was that a reason not to get the vaccine?"
It is different. People who got tetanus had serious problems. 90% of people who get infected with HPV clear the virus on their own (that does not happen with tetanus). Of the unlucky 10 percent who do not clear the virus on their own, not all go on to develop cervical cancer, and those who get their routine pap test each year, would be able to detect abnormal cells and treat them before they have the chance of developing into cancer.
The deaths in 2007 due to cervical cancer were 4,021, a very small number given the millions of people in the US. And those deaths could have been prevented with pap tests.
The only way to prevent tetanus is through the vaccine because even with strong hygiene of wounds, you could develop tetanus if not vaccinated. People who get the tetanus illness do not develop immunity since it is a bacteria. You can prevent cervical cancer by other means: protect yourself and know your partners before engaging in intimate contact, and get the routine, annual pap test which would allow you to stop the abnormal cells before they develop into cancer.
"You could make a similar, though not precisely the same argument in the case chicken pox. Would you also concluded the parents skip chicken pox vaccination for their children?"
The chicken pox vaccine is a bad example. For one thing, chicken pox booster shots can be given at any age wheras gardasil has a limited age group it is approved for. The chicken pox shot is a live virus, so all you are doing is infecting the vaccine recipient with an atenuated version of the illness. The side effects are very mild and not at all comparable to the awful side effects of Gardasil. The benefits vs. risk analysis does not justify the use of Gardasil. Cervical cancer is an illness that you can get with or without the Gardasil shot, and one that can be prevented with or without the Gardasil shot.
"I'm not ignoring that."
Yes you are. Think: the vaccine is only approved for those between the ages of 9 and 26, yet the median age of diagnosis is 47. No one (not even scientists) know how long the vaccine offers immunity to those who get the shot. As of today, no scientist can tell you that vaccinating a 9 year old with Gardasil will prevent an HPV infection when she becomes sexually active, or a cervical cancer diagnosis when she is 47 (the median age for such a diagnosis). And Gardasil does not have booster shots like other vaccines, because again, it has been approved only for a certain age group.
"I'm not ignoring that. Limited immunity is better than no immunity. The same is true of the diphtheria. "
Wrong. Gardasil offers limited immunity to an illness (HPV) that most people clear on their own, and those who do not, can prevent cervical cancer by getting routine annual tests.
Diphteria, on the other hand, does not have a test you can perform to see changes in your body that can indicate the presence (beginnings) of diphteria in order to treat it before it develops into something serious.
According to sites such as the CDC, prior to diphteria vaccinations, 15,520 annual deaths from diphteria were reported. There are no deaths reported from HPV. The 4,021 deaths reported in 2007 were due to cervical cancer, not HPV. Such deaths could have been prevented by annual tests that would have shown the presence of abnormal cells and would have allowed people to treat them before they developed cervical cancer. Two different things altogether. Getting infected with HPV does not mean getting (or dying from) cervical cancer. Getting infected with the diphteria bacteria means developing the illness for sure.
"Are you associated with one of these groups?"
I do not know what you define as "these groups." If you are asking about my religion: I do not go to church. If you are asking about my political affiliation: I am an independent and support democrats and republicans alike, depends on the candidate. If you are talking about vaccines: I choose which vaccines are worth the risk (polio, measles, etc) and which are not (gardasil) based on the data, not the summary or recommendation of the "experts."
Yes, there are extreme groups out there, but they are not the only ones against this Gardasil vaccine.
And there are also people who will get every shot there is (swine flu shot comes to mind), without thinking about it and just accepting what they are told. That is just as bad as the extreme groups that won't even vaccinate for polio or measles.