The Cervical Cancer Blog » January 2007
January 31, 2007
Gardasil and Autoimmune Disorder Risk
I was interested to see that Dr. Dave at CafePharma pointed out that there was a slight increase in autoimmune problems in study participants receiving the vaccine.
The only significant concern that I appreciated in terms of the safety data was a slight absolute increase in potential autoimmune phenomena (e.g., inflammatory arthritis) in the vaccination group. This will be something to keep an eye on.
CafePharma is a place where people in the pharmaceutical industry can talk to each other about drugs and vaccines in a casual and open way. View the full thread with Dr. Dave here.
Here are the study results he was referring to. The ages of participants ranged from 9 to 26:
In one study involving 11,813 Gardasil recipients, 2 recipients developed rheumatoid arthritis, 5 developed arthritis, and 1 developed reactive arthritis.
In the control group receiving a placebo containing aluminum, 1 recipient developed lupus and 2 recipients developed arthritis.
Out of a total of 21,464 study partipants, there were 17 deaths that Merck says were unrelated to the vaccine. The deaths were broken down as follows:
Out of those who received Gardasil:
4 motor vehicle accidents
1 pulmonary embolus/deep vein thrombosis
2 cases of sepsis
1 case of pancreatic cancer
1 case of arrhythmia
In the control group receiving an aluminum placebo:
3 motor vehicle accidents
1 pulmonary embolus/deep vein thrombosis
1 case of asphyxia
Both the Gardasil vaccine and the placebo contained aluminum.
To read the results of the clinical trials yourself, visit this page.
January 30, 2007
Gardasil: 10 Things You Might Not Know
There's an interesting post over at Evil Slutopia called "10 Things You Might Not Know About Gardasil." The introductory paragraph reads:
You might have noticed recently that the makers of the new HPV vaccine Gardasil really really really want you to try their product. I think the TV commercials are running about every 7.5 seconds. I admit that I tend to be pretty skeptical of the whole women’s health “industry”, so after seeing the ads about five million times, I decided to do some research.
I recommend reading the post and using the items as a jumping off point for your own research. As the author of the article says:
Don't get this vaccine just because your doctor/mom/sister/friend/a perky TV commercial told you to. But don’t not get it just because some chicks with a blog say that they aren’t going to. It’s your health, your decision. Do your own research and accept no guilt trips.
I couldn't have said it better myself!
January 29, 2007
Merck Pushing Gardasil Legislation
Just who is behind the massive push in over a dozen states to make Gardasil mandatory for all 6th grade girls? For a vaccine that was only approved in June, it seems as if this sudden blitz of legislature is a bit premature.
Merck & Co, makers of Gardasil, appear to be the ones spearheading this legislative drive. The company stands to make $1 billion off the drug in 2008.
Merck, which has been arming its lobbyists across the country with information on the vaccine, has been getting an assist from Women in Government, a nonpartisan organization of female legislators whose agenda includes cervical cancer prevention. The group, like breast-cancer activists before it, works through political channels. It also takes corporate donations from Merck.
There are doctors who are warning caution, however:
... some medical experts say lawmakers are moving too fast in their efforts to vaccinate all school-age girls. The American Academy of Pediatrics, for instance, is urging a go-slow approach, with an initial focus on raising public awareness of HPV and more monitoring of the safety of the vaccine ...
Gardasil - By Hook or By Crook
This article in the Seattle Times talks about the different ways mothers are getting their daughters to get the HPV vaccine, Gardasil. While some mothers are open and honest with their daughters, others are using bribery and even lying to their daughters.
One mother took her daughter to get the vaccine but told her only that it was to prevent a vague form of cancer, not that it was to prevent HPV or cervical cancer.
"She's not a sophisticated girl," the mother said. "My daughter is very uncomfortable discussing anything physical."
One has to wonder which one of the two is really "uncomfortable" discussing anything physical.
Then there's the mother whose daughter didn't want the vaccine, but who relented after a bit of bribery:
"For your safety? Your health? Your future?" Then Shine got creative: "What if you don't have to pay back the $20 you owe me?"
It all seems a bit manipulative. Is there really such a rush to get this vaccine that we need to lie to and bribe our children? It's great that parents are trying to do the right thing for their daughters, but openness and honesty seems like a good idea when it comes to something as serious as this.
January 26, 2007
Wisconsin Latest State to Propose Mandatory HPV Vaccination
Wisconsin is the latest state to propose legislation making Gardasil, the HPV vaccine, mandatory for all girls entering the sixth grade. At least 12 other states are proposing similar legislation.
Under the Wisconsin proposal, students would be required to show proof that they had received the vaccine, or a statement from the parent showing they have elected not to be vaccinated.
January 25, 2007
Cervical Cancer Girl
Since she was diagnosed with cervical cancer in December 2006, Cervical Cancer Girl has been blogging about her experience. She has just undergone a radical hysterectomy and, though they originally thought she wouldn't need it, she will be undergoing radiation because they discovered that she has a rare form of cervical cancer.
Follow her story: Cervical Cancer Girl
Pap Smear Scene on Dead Like Me
A funny scene from Dead Like Me as Delores goes into detail about her last Pap smear:De
HPV Vaccine May Become Mandatory for 6th Graders
The Virginia House has passed a bill that would require all girls entering the 6th grade to receive Gardasil, the new HPV vaccine marketed by Merck Pharmaceuticals. HPV is known to lead to cervical cancer and is highly preventable.
If passed by the General Assembly, the legislation would take effect Oct. 1, 2008. But because schools open before October, it wouldn't have a significant impact until the summer of 2009, when students in public and private schools get their vaccinations. ... That gives additional time to make sure there aren't problems with the vaccine.
What do you think? Should the HPV vaccine be mandatory for young girls or should each family decide for themselves? Write an opinion on this topic!
January 22, 2007
National Cervical Cancer Awareness Month
January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness Month. According to the National Cervical Cancer Coalition, approximately 14,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer every year and more than 3,900 women in the United States die from the disease every year.
Cervical cancer has been making headlines of late due to the release of Gardasil, a vaccine against the virus that leads to cervical cancer (human papillomavirus).
The vaccine is being heralded as a great step towards the eradication of cervical cancer, but remember that the vaccine only protects against 70% cervical cancer cases. It is still necessary for women to undergo yearly Pap smears to ensure she does not have the disease.
Early detection of cervical cancer is crucial. According to the National Cervical Cancer Coalition, the Pap smear is "is the single most effective cancer screen in the history of medicine."
Share your cervical cancer stories by submitting a post to this blog. No registration is required and posts are completely anonymous.
On the web:
The National Cervical Cancer Coalition
January 20, 2007
The Cervical Cancer Blog
Welcome to The Cervical Cancer Blog, a community blog open to which anyone with an interest in cervical cancer can contribute. Post personal stories, links to interesting cervical cancer websites and blogs, news stories, commentary, or just your thoughts for the day. Post as often as you like. No registration required! Visit the submit page to submit content.