Cervical cancer is a type of disease that kills thousands of women annually. Consequently, it is one of the only types of cancer that is largely preventable. That is due to the fact that cervical cancer is most often developed in individuals who have become infected with certain strains of the human papilloma virus.
For men, becoming infected with these strains means only that they may develop warts around their genitals or their anus. For women, however, it can be tough to identify any physical symptoms of the virus, and it may lead to the development of cervical cancer.
To that end, women have been encouraged to engage in safe sexual practices in order to limit their possible exposure to the human papilloma virus. Scientists have developed a new way of dealing with cervical cancer, however they have created a vaccine which works to protect the human body against some of the high risk strains of the human papilloma virus, making it much harder for a woman to develop cervical cancer. In this article, well talk about the vaccines that are hitting the market so that you can get a better idea of them.
Merck Sharp & Dohme is a company that is currently marketing one of the vaccines. It states that the vaccine will only be affective if given to women before they begin to have sexual relations. To that end, many state legislatures are calling for a bill that vaccinates all girls at age twelve with the vaccine in order to keep cervical cancer at bay and to keep genital warts from spreading as much throughout the population.
Some groups are up in arms protesting these types of bills, stating that it encourages young women to be sexually promiscuous. Trials of the vaccine have shown it to be completely effective, given that 2,400 women were vaccinated and polled over the course of a year, with none of them becoming infected with the virus in that year.
Pap Test Relief
The vaccine will be of great relief to women who need to constantly submit themselves to an invasive pap test on a bi-yearly basis. Pap tests are given to check for abnormalities in the cells of the lining of the cervix which may indicate pre-cancerous growths. If the vaccine works as planned, the need for this type of test will be lessened, and possibly eliminated.
While the human papilloma virus does not cause all cases of cervical cancer, it does account for many of them. Other doctor recommendations in order to help women to avoid cervical cancer include avoiding smoking, and choosing a contraceptive measure other than oral birth control pills, as long-term usage may contribute to the risk of cervical cancer as well.
Hopefully, the vaccine will live up to the fervor that it has generated within the medical community and the public at large. For the first time in human history, we have the opportunity to successfully fend off most of the cases of cervical cancer. Only time will tell if our efforts are successful.