Time Magazine, 17 January 2007, An STD Vaccine For All Girls?
The American Cancer Society and other agencies say preventing HPV can greatly eliminate the chance of developing cervical cancer. The Kentucky legislation, similar to the proposals in other states, would require girls who are middle-schoolers at public or private schools — including home-schooled children — to be vaccinated within two weeks of the start of the school year.
I’m of two minds about vaccination.
On the one hand, I’ve seen many discussions about the side-effects of vaccines and how they can be devastating to individuals.
On the other hand, I well-remember seeing a girl in an iron lung. She had been stricken with polio and could no longer breathe on her own. Iron lungs have been replaced by modern breathing devices, but the vision of that girl looking at us in a mirror suspended over her face left a lasting impression. Another girl in high school had a withered leg that she said was from a bout with polio. I haven’t seen those afflictions since I was a child.
On an (extra-terrestrial?) third hand, the PAP test has greatly reduced the rates of fatality from cervical cancer.
National Institute of Health, 14 November 1996, Cancer Death Rate Declined for the First Time Ever in the 1990’s
The breast cancer death rate in women declined 6.3 percent between 1991 and 1995, with a larger decline in women under 65 (9.3 percent) compared with women 65 and older (2.8 percent). These gains reflect the success of both early detection and treatment advances. Cervical cancer deaths fell 9.7 percent, reflecting the continued widespread use of Pap screening. Ovarian cancer deaths fell 4.8 percent, nearly all of the decline due to the trend in women under age 65.
Science Daily, Chevy Chase, Maryland, Pap smear
links to other information about the Pap smear, and the HPV vaccine
posted by Valerie