November 23, 2015 |
For almost a decade, researchers have studied why a vaccine for adolescents that could prevent tens of thousands of cancers every year is so unpopular. Turns out it's not so much the cost, or safety worries, or the antivaccine movement. The biggest obstacle, studies show, is that doctors aren't recommending the HPV vaccine because they're uncomfortable talking to parents and tweens about a virus spread by S-E-X. But a blitzkrieg against the doctor deterrent is underway. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other public-health agencies have major campaigns designed to educate doctors about why and how to recommend the HPV shots.
October 26, 2014 |
If parents and their adolescent daughters knew that the HPV vaccine protects against cervical cancer, they'd be more likely to get the shots than uninformed people, right? Um, no, judging from a University of Pennsylvania study that tested the seemingly logical assumption. The yearlong study of 360 parents and teen girls from low-income, predominantly African American neighborhoods in Philadelphia found no link between knowledge about the vaccine and actual immunization, even though it was available free at city health clinics.
June 21, 2013 |
ATLANTA - A vaccine against a cervical cancer virus has cut infections in teen girls by half, according to a study released Wednesday. The study confirms research done before the HPV vaccine came on the market in 2006. But this is the first evidence of how well it works now that it is in general use. "These are striking results, and I think they should be a wake-up call that we need to increase vaccination rates," said Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
June 10, 2013 |
It's not every day that a movie star says "cancer" and "cunnilingus" to a reporter, so Michael Douglas probably should have known his frankness would become fodder for bloggers, tweeters, and late-night comics. In any case, his revelation last week that his throat cancer was caused by a sexually transmitted virus can serve as a teachable moment - which is what he later said was his aim in the Guardian interview. Human papillomavirus, or HPV, is a family of more than 100 virus types that can live in the flat, thin cells on the surface of the skin, cervix, vagina, anus, vulva, penis, mouth, and throat.
May 11, 2013 |
Multinational drug companies, like other businesses, see Africa as an emerging market with tremendous opportunities and challenges, and that was a backdrop to Thursday's announcements of two programs designed to deliver more medicine and better health care to the continent. Merck & Co. and GlaxoSmithKline Plc joined the GAVI alliance in announcing from Cape Town, South Africa, an agreement to supply human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine at lower prices to developing countries to help girls and women in those nations avoid cervical cancer.
November 9, 2011 |
Does it make sense to vaccinate all boys against a sexually transmitted virus that causes a common cancer they are physically incapable of developing? An expert government panel last month concluded the answer is yes. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommended all U.S. boys ages 11 and 12 be given the cervical cancer prevention vaccine Gardasil, partly to compensate for the "disappointing" usage in girls. The committee's other main rationale was that boys may get some protection of their own because the virus, HPV, is linked to anal cancer.
September 20, 2011
THE RECENT Republican debate, with all the weighty issues we have, really took on an issue that I've talked a lot about and is very hot in the area of parenting: vaccines and vaccinating our kids. There's a movie out right now called "Contagion" about a vaccine to combat a lethal pathogen that's actually dangerous. The film paints a story that the epidemic and vaccine were created by the government to enrich drug companies. Hollywood met reality in the GOP debate when Texas Gov. Rick Perry was roundly criticized for his controversial mandate that 12-year-old girls be vaccinated against the human papilloma virus, believed to be a leading cause of cervical cancer.
September 18, 2011 |
Drug ads with scary-sounding side effects have regularly appeared on TV since 1995, but rarely has a major pharmaceutical company played such an unscripted, prime-time role as Merck did Monday night - a moment that put the klieg lights on corporate political contributions. Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann attacked fellow Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry during the GOP debate over the Texas governor's 2007 decision to have young girls inoculated against a virus that can contribute to cervical cancer.
September 16, 2011 |
Presidential aspirant Michele Bachmann has a history of being gaffe-prone, but her latest remarks so angered University of Pennsylvania bioethicist Arthur Caplan that on Thursday he challenged her to put up or pipe down. Bachmann told Fox News and NBC's Today show this week that she had heard from a distraught mother whose daughter "suffered mental retardation" from taking the Gardasil cervical cancer vaccine. Bachmann's statement has been denounced by the American Academy of Pediatrics, advocates for the disabled, and public-health experts.
May 4, 2011
DEAR ABBY: As children come to their mothers to mend their scraped knees and broken hearts, readers in turn come to you for advice that can mend fractured relationships and save lives. Knowing how much mothers everywhere value your wisdom, the Food and Drug Administration's Office of Women's Health and the Federal Citizen Information Center have created the Healthy Moms Advice Kit for your readers. It's filled with practical tips on topics such as hay fever, recognizing and conquering depression, keeping food safe, discovering the real differences between name-brand and generic drugs and - every mom's dream - learning the secrets of getting a good night's sleep.