Friday, October 07, 2005

Here Comes Sickness

This is, unfortunately, something I know a lot about.

Merck: Cervical Cancer Vaccine Effective

TRENTON, N.J. - The first major study of an experimental vaccine to prevent cervical cancer found it was 100 percent effective, in the short term, at blocking the disease and lesions likely to turn cancerous, the drugmaker Merck & Co. said Thursday.

Gardasil, a genetically engineered vaccine, blocks infection with two of the 100-plus types of human papilloma virus, HPV 16 and 18. The two sexually transmitted viruses together cause about 70 percent of cervical cancers....

...Cervical cancer is the second-most common cancer in women and their No. 2 cause of cancer deaths, resulting in about 3,000 deaths in the United States and nearly 300,000 around the world each year. At least half of sexually active men and women become infected with genital HPV at some point.

Ideally, vaccines would be given to girls in elementary school. This seems to be a very young age to give someone a vaccine against what is, essentially, a STD, but be realistic - some people become sexually active at an alamingly young age. The main objections, so far, come from (predictibly) religious groups who don't want their children exposed to such thinking. I guess being exposed to a transmittable form of cancer is just so much better.