A new finding in the medical circle that is creating news is the new vaccine for preventing cervical cancer. At a time when states are still arguing over the issue of access to vaccines for sexually transmitted diseases this finding sure adds fuel to the fire.
This vaccine is to target the HPV that is human papillomavirus, is a sexually transmitted virus with dozen strains. It is also the major cause for cervical cancer.
There are two vaccines one that is already approved, Gardasil, and the other still waiting approval Cervarix. Both these vaccines provide protection against cervical cancer by targeting the two strains of HPV that cause infection. Gardasil vaccine is used for prevention of genital warts where the woman has not been previously exposed especially the younger generation.
According to Stanley Gall, M.D., The University of Louisville, "They're both wonderful products and the family and their doctor will have to decide which is best,"
The big question is how beneficial is the vaccine? Is it useful to get it? Or does it need a booster.
The FDA panel has unanimously voted for the use of the vaccine saying that it is safe and effective in preventing precancerous lesions in women between 16 and 26 years of age. It also increases the immunity against HPV in 9-15 ears old. The vaccine is for the prevention of the disease rather than a treatment for cervical cancer. Studies show that 98% women did not develop precancerous lesions even after 3.5 years after the administration of the vaccine. It protects against 45 and 31 type of HPV and also all other types as all are related genetically. It also prevented abnormal precancerous cell growths found in the cervix.
The vaccine does not treat the cancer already infecting the body. That is why the FDA has approved the vaccine Gardasil to women from the age group 9-26. As according to Dr. Gall "This would really help us make headway in getting into the population that needs it." It would help prevent genital wart that the young usually develop.
With more than 11,000 new cases of cervical cancer and with more than 3,600 deaths, according to the American cancer society it would be beneficial to use the vaccine. It is also necessary to educate the girls to get vaccinated.