Better late than Never:
Yes, I am a busy Mom of 4 and sometimes things fall through the cracks. I wrote this blog 1 year ago, 9/28/11, but life got in the way and I never posted it. Too many tags and links are hardly an excuse for such an important topic. While it is a year late and my friend is no longer engaged, the information is still important. So here it is and hopefully after reading it you will never have to answer that question to your daughter.
Cancer Sucks. My friend knows only too well as last year his fiancé was diagnosed with cervical cancer and had to undergo a hysterectomy, chemotherapy and radiation to save her life. She is a smart, beautiful healthy young woman who kept up with her pap smears and exams. She is one of the 12,000 American women who contract cervical cancer despite some of the best screening tools. So you can imagine my fury when uninformed politicians call into question the safety of a vaccine that can save millions of lives worldwide based on hearsay and not medical evidence. This same sort of fear mongering headlines led to the unfounded link of autism and the MMR vaccine. That started with a small study from a doctor who falsified his data. Although the doctor has been stripped of his medical license, mistrust of vaccines lingers so much that 11,000 kindergartners in California were exempted by their parents from vaccines this year. The result is that state has seen a huge resurgence in measles and whooping cough from lack of vaccination. I want to help clarify fact from fiction when it comes to the HPV vaccine.
Does the HPV vaccine cause mental retardation?
There is no scientific evidence that the HPV vaccine causes mental retardation. In fact the HPV vaccine is one of the most studied vaccines with over 35 million injections given since Gardasil was approved in May of 2006. There were 30,000 injections were given in the years prior to the introduction and the vaccine has shown to be safe and effective in preventing the most common causes of cervical cancer and genital warts. Only 0.054% of all the women receiving the injection reported a negative side effect and most of these were common after an injection such as headaches, sore arm and fainting.
What is HPV and how does it cause cancer?