Cervical Cancer:Vaccine

Cervical cancer is cancer of the cervix, which is the doughnut shaped opening between the vagina and the uterus. Because of it’s very location it is in a prime position to easily become infected. This disease is one in which cancer cells are found in the tissues of the cervix. All cases of this cancer can be linked back to the sexually transmitted virus of HPV or human papillomavirus. In the early stages of cervical cancer, there are no symptoms to alert you to the presence of this disease.

The cervical cancer vaccine was found to be 100% effective in a trial test on two strains of the virus that causes cancer. A larger trial involving over 6000 women worldwide will be spear headed by the University of Nottingham University, in this trial a similar vaccine also manufactured by Merck will be used.

Unfortunately, the vaccine will only work on young females that have yet to become sexually active. This could potentially pose a problem in many countries. Many even see this new cervical cancer vaccine as being dangerous to our young females, because they may reason that it is o.k. to engage in premarital sex.

In the alone, half of all young women between the ages of 18 and 22 are infected with HPV. When left untreated it is possible it will clear up on it’s own but be aware that it can also rear it’s ugly head in the form of cervical cancer decades later.

At this point in time the use of the cervical cancer vaccine could possibly cut the infection rate, but the benefits of cervical prevention will not be known for a long time. Recently the FDA approved the cervical cancer vaccine called Gardisill. Gardisill is approved to be used on young women between the ages of 9 – 26 years old, it works by preventing four strains of HPV from developing.

Cervical cancer kills approximately 3700 women a year in the alone and hundreds of thousands elsewhere in the world. It is not clear as to how available the cervical cancer vaccine will be due to it’s high price tag of about $360 right now, yet this is a good sign that we are progressing in the right direction.

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