HPV vaccine is a good choice

Published: Sunday, April 1, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, April 1, 2007 at 1:34 a.m.

In response to the March 24 letter containing misinformation about the new Gardasil Vaccine: I highly recommend this new vaccine that protects against Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Types 6, 11, 16, and 18 for all young girls and women. Vaccines have a better antibody response rate in younger individuals, and protection is always better prior to exposure.

I also want to point out that this vaccine is also recommended for women up to age 26, with that age expanding to 49 years in the very near future. This vaccine is also in the testing phase for men, and at some point will be given to both sexes.

The HPV vaccine also protects against cervical cancer in women already infected with up to four strains of the virus. At this point more than 200 million men and women are infected by the virus in this country alone.

Eighty percent of all women will be infected with HPV by age 50, and more than 50 percent of all men and women who are sexually active already have HPV.

Small studies are just now linking the HPV virus to certain types of breast cancer. At the University of New South Wales, in Australia, HPV was discovered in the breast cancer tumors of almost half of the 50 women participating. The researchers also stated that it is possible to spread the HPV virus through any type of touch, such as washing or bathing.

Fighting cancer is never a bad thing, and the future cost savings and quality of life can not be measured. If this vaccine is made mandatory, then my only personal stance is that it should be mandatory for all men and women. Until it is approved for all individuals then the vaccine should be a personal choice. I might add an excellent choice.

Karen Theoktisto,

Pediatric Nurse Practitioner


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