Is TEAL the New PINK?

January is Cervical Cancer Awareness month, and the color is TEAL. Did you know there are still over 12,000 women in the United States who are diagnosed with this cancer every year? And although our treatments have greatly improved, there are still over 4000 deaths from this cancer every year. The good news is that we have PREVENTION, and with this prevention, we hope to eliminate cervical cancer within our lifetime!

The HPV vaccine is approved and strongly recommended for all adolescents- girls and boys- as part of their routine vaccinations at age 11-12 years. The second generation of Gardasil … Read more

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Gardasil: What’s Up Down Under?

The HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) vaccine, Gardasil, was FDA approved in the United States for use in young women in June, 2006, then extended for males in October, 2009. In October of 2011, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP- the group that creates our national guidelines that you see posted on your doctor’s office walls) extended their official recommendations to include ROUTINE VACCINATION of both boys and girls at age 11-12 years, with “catch up” immunizations for those youth  ages 13-21 who had missed getting this vaccine series.

Why are we vaccinating?
We vaccinate primarily for CANCER PREVENTION. Each … Read more

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Gardasil: Not for the FAINT…

Continuing my discussion this week about the HPV vaccine Gardasil, I’d like to address side effects. At this point in the United States, there have been over 46 million doses of HPV vaccine administered (the vast majority Gardasil), which implies over 15 million people (since a series includes three shots.) Unfortunately, when you start involving a population this large, within that group there will be uncommon diseases that occur in the general population. For example, a disease that occurs in only one out of 500,000 will have 30 cases in this group. Sorting out which of these rare occurrences are … Read more

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Gardasil: What’s IN it?

Continuing the discussion about the HPV (Human Papillomavirus) Vaccine Gardasil...I’d like to step back and talk about exactly what is IN this vaccine. Much of the fear about immunizations surrounds concerns about the makeup of the vaccine, and what peripheral damage could potentially be caused from the content.

First of all, can you “catch” HPV from the vaccine? NO. Absolutely NOT. There are vaccines (like chicken pox or measles) that contain essentially watered-down versions of live virus, and as such, can in the course of an appropriate response cause a mild version of the disease as the body reacts … Read more

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Gardasil and Increased Promiscuity? NOT an Issue

The Gardasil vaccine is back in the news. Gardasil is the vaccine recommended for both boys and girls to protect them against the Human Papillomavirus (HPV), which causes genital warts and cervical cancer) Yesterday, an article published in Pediatrics confirmed that girls who had received this vaccine did not, in fact, have any increased sexual promiscuity compared with their peers who did not receive the vaccine. Why was this study done? One reason for lower vaccination rates with this recommended vaccine (compared to other vaccines recommended in this age group) was parental concern that giving their preteen and teenage daughters … Read more

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