Start A Petition
Group Discussions
WARNING ! 10 THINGS YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW ABOUT GARDASIL !
12 years ago
1. The vaccine only decreases your chances of getting cervical cancer, it doesn’t eliminate the risk.
Straight from gardasil.com:
“HPV Types 16 and 18 cause 70% of cervical cancer cases.
GARDASIL may not fully protect everyone and does not prevent all types of cervical cancer, so it is important to continue regular cervical cancer screenings.”
[1]

Merck is upfront with this information; they don't try to hide it or spin it. But with all of the media coverage and information floating around about the "100% effective cancer vaccine", it's helpful to remember that Gardasil is only 100% effective at doing what it is supposed to do, which is preventing certain specific types of HPV, not preventing all cervical cancer.

2. Even without the vaccine, the number of cervical cancer cases is trending downward and has been for years. (This is only true in the U.S.; worldwide it is one of the top cancer killers of women because women in many other countries have limited access to Pap tests and other health services.)

The Gardasil commercials refer to "thousands of women" being diagnosed with cervical cancer in the U.S. each year, which is true, but they don't put that number into context.

“Cervical cancer has gone from being one of the top killers of American women to not even being on the top 10 list. This year cervical cancer will represent just 1 percent of the 679,510 new cancer cases and 1 percent of the 273,560 anticipated cancer deaths among American women. By contrast, some 40,970 women will die of breast cancer and 72,130 will die of lung cancer.

According to the
American Cancer Society, "'Between 1955 and 1992, the number of cervical cancer deaths in the United States dropped by 74 percent.' Think about it: 74 percent.”


So Merck wants parents to have their pre-teen and teenage daughters vaccinated. But if current trends continue, by the time these girls are old enough to be at risk, how big will the risk really be? Check out the government's statistics on cervical cancer for yourself at the National Cancer Institute website.

3. Gardasil is one of the most expensive vaccines ever, at about $360 for the series of three shots, plus the cost of doctor visits. Call me cynical, but I can’t help but think about how much money Merck stands to make from this if they can manage to convince all young women and all parents of young girls that this vaccine is a necessity. And while we’re at it, call me a conspiracy theorist too for wondering if maybe Merck just might be exaggerating the cervical cancer risk by a lot in order to scare young women and mothers into buying their product.



This post was modified from its original form on 14 Mar, 15:48
12 years ago
"'We're seeing a fairly remarkable uptake of Gardasil,' said Rick Haupt of Merck & Co., which reported sales of the vaccine had reached $70 million, exceeding analysts' projections.”[3]

Gardasil is a cash cow. The revenue stream is big now, with the potential to get much bigger. This is especially important for Merck, which is still dealing with the scandal surrounding their pain medication Vioxx, which they had to withdraw from the market in 2004 after it was found to increase the long-term risk of heart attack and stroke in patients who took it regularly. Thousands of lawsuits have been filed by former Vioxx patients. Vaccines like Gardasil are needed to provide the constant stream of cash that will help Merck to recover from Vioxx.

“Merck, struggling since the 2004 recall of its blockbuster pain pill Vioxx, has staked its turnaround in part on vaccines. They accounted for $1.1 billion of its $22 billion in revenue last year, or 5 percent, the highest share since at least 1995." [4]

4. While we're on the subject of liability, lawsuits, and profits, there's another angle to consider. If Merck can get state governments to put Gardasil on their lists of vaccines that are required for schoolchildren, it can become a part of a federal vaccine liability program. Meaning that Merck will not be liable if Gardasil turns out to be harmful some time in the future. [5] [6] [7]

If I felt like being cynical again, I might think that this is one of the reasons why a vaccine for a sexually transmitted disease is being marketed not just to young women who are having sex or are going to become sexually active soon, but also to girls as young as nine. There’s a hell of a lot more stability and profitability in a required childhood vaccine than there would be in an optional vaccine meant only for young women.

It's important to remember that no matter how many feel-good, we're all in this fight together and we're just doing this out of the goodness of our hearts ad campaigns they run, drug companies are not non-profit organizations. They are in this to make money and a lot of it, and while that doesn't mean that all prescription drugs are harmful and horrible or that all doctors are evil, it does mean that when it comes to our health, we probably shouldn't take anything at face value.

5. There have been no long-term studies done on the effect of the vaccine after 5-10 or more years, and testing on young girls has been extremely limited.

“Merck has tested the cervical cancer vaccine in clinical trials of more than 20,000 women (about half of them got the shot). The health of the subjects was followed for about three and a half years on average. But fewer than 1,200 girls under 16 got the shots, among them only about 100 9-year-olds, Merck officials said, and the younger girls have been followed for only 18 months." [8]

If parents are expected to take their daughters to get a series of expensive immunizations, wouldn’t it be nice if they had any idea at all about what effects these girls might have to deal with 5 or 10 years down the line?
12 years ago
If you're wondering what the rush was, part of the answer could be patents. When a company's patent on a particular drug expires, that's when generic versions of the drug can be developed and released into the market, which obviously drives the price and the profits of the original drug way down. Merck's patent on the extremely profitable cholesterol drug Zocor expired in June of this year, and Gardasil is one of the new drugs being counted on to bridge Merck's financial gap. According to the FDA, Merck filed an application for a patent extension for Gardasil on December 6th.

This
CNN Money article has more info on Merck's financial past, present, and future.

6. It is unknown how long the immunity provided by Gardasil actually lasts.
“Public health officials want to vaccinate girls early, before they become sexually active, even though it is not known how long the immunity will last.” [9]
“Tests show that the vaccine lasts at least four years. Long-term results aren't known yet.” [10]

And straight from the FDA:
    “The duration of immunity following a complete schedule of immunization with GARDASIL has not been established.”[11]

So if I do decide that it’s worth the risks to my hypothetical nine year old and that I should go ahead and give her the vaccine, in the end I don’t even know if it will do her any good at all by the time she
GARDASIL has not been evaluated for the potential to cause carcinogenicity or genotoxicity.”[12]
car·cin·o·gen
n. Any substance or agent that tends to produce a cancer.

ge·no·tox·in
n. A chemical or other agent that damages cellular DNA, resulting in mutations or cancer.

8. Gardasil is one of many vaccines containing aluminum, and there is increasing evidence suggesting that aluminum-based vaccines can have harmful effects. Aluminum is a neurotoxin and the aluminum in vaccines can potentially reach the brain. Since the list of required childhood vaccines is only getting longer over time, children are being exposed to doses of aluminum that may exceed what their bodies are capable of managing. Aluminum in vaccines has been linked to a variety of neurological disorders, including Alzheimer’s, although a lot more research is needed.
[13] [14]

12 years ago
It's also interesting to note that according to the FDA, Merck tested Gardasil along with the Hepatitis B vaccine (currently on the required list), to make sure that there were no negative effects to administering both vaccines during the same doctor's visit. The tests showed no apparent problems. [15] However, the hepatitis vaccine was the only one that was tested, so it is unknown whether any of the other required childhood vaccines could be potentially harmful when combined with Gardasil. There was also no information in any of the studies about what adding Gardasil to the required list would do to the cumulative aluminum levels in children's bodies.

9. Gardasil is only for women.

"Boys would not have to be vaccinated, although they can get HPV. There are no HPV tests for men. The vaccine has not yet been tried on men." [16]
 
Men can get HPV. Men can give HPV to their partners. Men can get genital warts from HPV. Men can get cancer from HPV. (80% of HPV-related cancers affect women, but the other 20% include penile and anal cancers affecting men). [17]
So why wasn’t Gardasil tested on men, and why isn’t Merck funding PR campaigns to educate men about their HPV risk? Is it because they feel that there’s more of a stigma surrounding men’s sexual health, and that it would be more difficult to convince men and parents of boys of the risks? And as a result they wouldn’t be able to make nearly as much money off of men as they will off of women. (Sorry, there’s that cynical thing again.)

I think both men and women can take issue with this. Men, because their sexual health is really not being addressed here. They don't even have a test that can tell them whether they have HPV or not, so even if they want to be responsible about it there is only so much they can do. And women, because they are being asked to take full responsibility for HPV prevention. Women and girls are expected to take on all of the costs and the risks of this vaccine, and even if they do get vaccinated they could still be infected with HPV by a male partner who has been told that HPV isn't something that he needs to worry about.

From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website:

"There is no clear health benefit to knowing you have this virus—since HPV is unlikely to affect your health and cannot be treated. For most men, there would be no need to treat HPV, even if treatment were available— since it usually goes away on its own." [18]

Isn't it a little irresponsible (and sexist) to say there is no benefit to a male HPV test? Regardless of the possible health issues such as penile or anal cancer, isn't not infecting your unsuspecting partner also considered a benefit? Men are reassured that tests and treatment are unnecessary because their HPV infections will likely go away on their own, while the fact is that most women's HPV infections will go away on their own as well. [19]

Apparently, when Gardasil went before an FDA panel for approval, Merck asked the panel to approve the vaccine for boys also, even though they have not done the same amount of testing on boys as they have on girls.


12 years ago
Merck asked the committee to endorse vaccination of boys age 9 to 15, too. Urging them not to wait for ongoing studies to end, it said evidence shows Gardasil can prevent some male cancers and may slow the spread of sexually transmitted HPV.
'By delaying three-plus years, we could have an additional 100,000 [cancer] cases that could have otherwise been avoided,' Barr told the committee. But panel members didn't vote on the request, calling the idea compelling but unproven."
[20]


It seems to me that we need to spend more time researching HPV in men and boys, not less time. And it would be nice to feel like Merck was taking this issue seriously and not just tacking it on as a "me too" measure in order to get approval more quickly. On the flip side, it's a positive step that more research on HPV in men is now being done. Maybe they'll even change their minds and decide that it is worthwhile to develop a male HPV test after all. They could probably share a lab with the researchers who are hard at work on that male birth control pill we've been hearing about for years.


10. The bottom line: Don't get this vaccine just because your doctor/mom/sister/friend/a perky TV commercial told you to. But don’t not get it just because some chicks with a blog say that they aren’t going to. It’s your health, your decision. Do your own research and accept no guilt trips. My own mom wanted me to consider getting the vaccine (it is also being recommended for sexually active young women, even though it will probably do us—well, do evil slutty me anyway—no good), but she encouraged me to research it first, so I did. When I told her what I had found out, she agreed with my decision not to get it.

The Gardasil ad campaign is screaming at us to be “One Less”, meaning one less woman affected by cervical cancer. I’m all for that. I’m just going to try to reach that goal in my own way…as one less woman making an uninformed decision. 

http://evilslutopia.blogspot.com/2007/01/gardasil.html
 
Read on...
--------------------------------------------------------------
 WA State House passes measure to inform parents about HPV
Here's what's happening in our own backyard re: HPV cancer vaccine:
 
And the other side of the "miracle drug":
MERCK'S GARDASIL VACCINE NOT PROVEN SAFE FOR LITTLE GIRLS
 
Texas House Rejects Order by Governor on Vaccines
"It also raised questions about the governor’s ties to Merck."
12 years ago

I am proud that the Planned Parenthood affliliate I work for is going to start giving Gardasil vaccines.  I have HPV and it did end up causing some health issues for me, so I am excited about this drug.  Never did I think I would see a drug that could prevent cancer in my lifetime.  I am glad I got to see such a miracle and I hope more women are able to avoid the problems I have had.

12 years ago

I have had HPV as well. Even though I had cell dysplasia, I cleared it up completely on my own using natural means. All annual testings over the past 10 years have been clear.

We do have other choices.

I choose NO VACCINE.

The most important thing is CHOICE.

MANDATORY is unethical and violates our basic human rights.

My own Gynacologist does not support this program.

Many health professionals are starting to ask questions.



This post was modified from its original form on 14 Mar, 16:49
12 years ago
As I said, I am more then pleased that my employer is going to offer this vaccine!  This vaccine can save lives, that is just a fact.  Whether or not it is madatory is up to each state, regardless, I hope that more parents vaccinate their daughters.  Natural remedies may work for some things but I would of never risked my life to find out if it would work for my problems.  Nope, I fully depended on my doctor to do the right thing, he did and thankfully I am here to talk about it now!  I believe we will see more and more health centers offering this vaccine, something I will be happy to see!
12 years ago

My gynocologist worked with me every step of the way. All of my methods were experimental so he supervised my progress with interest and amazement.

We gave it 3 months. Had it failed, we would have resorted to lazer surgery. It was not necessary. There has never been a relapse.

You choose for yourself and I do not dispute that at all.

I also choose.

This information is for all women to follow the links and research so that they too can make an "informed choice".

That is empowerment !

To push too forcefully for the vaccine would raise questions about whether some had investments in shares with Merck, or other corporate affiliations.

To offer choices and information, is fair and respectful of every woman's good judgement.



This post was modified from its original form on 14 Mar, 18:26
Why Should We Believe
12 years ago

Yes, Indigo is correct.  

First off look at All The Lies that the Government has told us as citizens for the last 6 yrs. And you want to trust what they are saying, or I should say what the Pharm's have paid for them to say, or maybe it is the other way around.

Second of all, no matter what the Government puts out that "it is for their own good" for instance I have never had a flue shot nor do I ever intend to have one because I do not trust what they say Anymore.  How many people have gotten a beating or ass whoppin all depending on where you are from, and you were told it was for your own good?

Oh Yes and Third of all, they just put out a new warning on sleeping pills saying that people are driving on them etc... and they are worried and keep incarserating people for "pot"? To the tune of Billions of $$$$$ a year. Your tax money at work!!!

Please people Wake Up,

Indigo
12 years ago

Thanks for the informative post. I have read some about Gardasil but was not aware of some of the facts you uncovered. Every woman and parent needs to know the whole story so they can made an informed choice.

12 years ago

I am glad that my friend sent me this article to post.

I think her research was impeccable.

She asks excellent questions.

And why are boys excluded from this program when they too can get cancer from HPV ?

Why are women and girls burdened with the costs of this program and not men and boys as well ?

There are too many ambiguities to take what we are told and just"do as we are told".

Remember the Vets from the gulf war who had been forced to take a vaccine for Anthrax ? That went very badly for them. Soldiers that refused were punished and humiliated. So have we still got complete trust in these campaigns ?

This is as rediculous as Bush's WOT !

Now it is War On Women's Vaginas !

We must question everything.



This post was modified from its original form on 14 Mar, 19:03
12 years ago
This is not a war on women's vaginas.  What this is, is it is a drug that can prevent cancer, it is as simple as that.  I have already talked to my sister about getting my young nieces vaccinated because I believe in helping them to prevent what I have been through!  If people do not want their daughters vaccinated then they can always opt out if it is mandatory in their state.  But if I had a daughter, without a doubt, she would be getting vaccinated.
12 years ago
If an informed choice is important, then shouldn't girls instead of their parents make the choice to get vaccinated immediately or not (which doesn't mean they won't be able to get vaccinated later)? There's also a discussion about this at http://forums.youthrights.org/showthread.php?t=9829 .
12 years ago
I would have no problem talking to my daughter about this and explaining to her just how important this vaccination is.  If she was truly opposed to it then I would not force her to do it.  The thing is even where it is mandatory, it is still a choice because parents can opt out.  The point that is being missed here is just how important this vaccination is in our lifetime.  A vaccine that prevents cancer is such a HUGE advancement, we shouldn't lose sight of that.  Maybe we will see other vaccines in our lifetime, I certainly hope so!
12 years ago

Julia, you are absolutely right. This is a human rights issue and no one should be forced to be a guinea pig.

This vaccine DOES NOT prevent cancer.

MYTH vs FACT. The threat is greater than any imagined advantage.

12 years ago

Oh my, and now the vaccine doesn't prevent cancer.  I wondered where we would go after the whole war on vaginas issue.  You were on the right track before, even if I disagreed with it, but now your just spreading your opinion as fact.  Well I am off to work where we see the realities of HPV every single day and where hopefully one day soon we will be vaccinating women and helping them to prevent cancer.

12 years ago

I really don't know the pros and cons of this vaccine. (Though I, personally, won't worry about STDs until I start considering having sex, and I hope a condom can prevent the transmission of all of them.) I just thought that those who support personal choices could support them for all ages.

12 years ago

And that is exactly what my PP affiliate plans on doing.  We aren't forcing this vaccine on anyone, this is a choice like all others.  And even in Texas where this is mandatory, parents may opt out like other vaccines.  So mandatory doesn't really mean mandatory.

Condoms are a great tool and should be used but they are not 100%, there isn't anything that is.  There are genital areas that a condom does not cover, those areas can be exposed to HPV. 

This vaccine could very well save  your life.  Just in the US there are 3700 deaths from Cervical Cancer every year, this drug could very well save many of those lives. 

12 years ago


CG D.
CG has received 4 new, 623 total stars from Care2 membersCG has been awarded 222 butterflies for taking action at Care2

Who pays for vaccines at your clinic ?

The government ?

The Patients ?

What are you charging for each treatment ?

What is you clinic's cut for promotions/injections ?

Who funds your clinic's promotion of this vaccine ?

How is it profiting from this program with it's affiliate, Merck ?

Is your clinic private, government or community owned ?

These are important questions because most physicians DO NOT support this vaccine.

Family planning clinics do not deal with the entirety of women's health issues.

Their focus is on contraception and STD's.

They will certainly not be picking up the broken pieces after the consequences set in. That mess will be on the shoulders of the family physicians and gynocologists.

Why the haste ?

Why the fanatical push ?

Why only women and girls ?

You have not given a single convincing reason why I should doubt the original research posted and every reason to believe that it is the truth !

reply.
12 years ago

Hi Indigo.

Read your post and appreciate it. Even before reading I made the decision not to get gardasil. To inject our bodies with anything is a big deal and in my opinion this is such a new drug they have no idea of the long term affects and I do not feel comfortable infecting my body with a a foreign substance before knowing what the end results will be.

On the topic of why research is only being done for women and girls in relation to HPV, we should be outraged but what we also need to be aware of is that in the case of practically every other drug and disease, the research is done for men and no testing or in depth research is done on the effects on women. Womens bodies are more complicated then men's because of our reproductive system and so much more work is required to test the implications of drugs and disease on our bodies. Womens bodies react differently to medications and drug treatments than men's and the drug companies and doctors do not investigate these occurances. Thanks to my Intro. to Women's Lit. teacher, Dr. Navina Hooker, I am aware of this and no longer blind to this injustice.

Another issue is that Doctors take mens complaints more seriously than womens. Doctors think that men are less likely to cpmplain to when they do it is a serious complaint. Women are seen as dramatic and that they overexagerate (sp??). There are so mnay barriers being built to keep women from the medical care they deserve and are intitled to. We need to fight for drug research and the right for our complaints to be taken seriously.

Thanks,

Dani

12 years ago
Indigo - Your not to fond of someone with an opposing view, are you?  Sitting there and telling me that as a family planning clinic, we do not deal with the entirety of women's health issues and asking how much money we make from the vaccine shows how little you understand that of which you are speaking.  And then you call us fanatical on top of it.  I'm not going to get into some slug fest with you, it is not a productive way to deal with things.  Like any other choice, if you don't want the vaccine then don't get the vaccine, I have no problem with that at all.  At the same time, millions of other women will get the vaccine and that is their choice, I support both choices fully.
12 years ago
Indigo - After reading my last post I realize it sounded rather harsh, I apologize for that.  Like you, I am very passionate about this cause and I fully believe this vaccine is a wonderful thing.  All vaccines carry a risk but we are vaccinated against them regardless.  The good will always outweigh the bad on many things, I believe this is one of them.  I worry about other women that will face what I have been through, if that can be prevented then I am all for it.  I also don't want to see lives lost to Cervical Cancer when those deaths can so easily be prevented.  Each person will have to weigh the pros/cons and go from there.  Like so much in life, we have to look at the good, the bad and then make choices, this is but one of many women will have to make.
Anonymous
Unfair
12 years ago

I don't agree with the burden falling on women- whether it's financial, physical, or ethical- as though we have to carry brunt- because like you said above- MEN carry and transmit this. Why shouldn't men be required to be more "responsible", if women have to? All the 'responsiblity' is falling on us in this situation as though they don't play a part in this disease.

But I also am for CHOICE. No one should be forced- decisions should be weighed by the individual and a conclusion that they feel will be most beneficial and supportive for them reached-- for every person- this conclusion will be different.

I also have nightmare stories to tell about being put on RX hormones; never again will I do that and I can't imagine ever being forced or told what to do in an area so intimate, so private and so critical to my health...

For right now, I know I am safe, so I don't have to worry about this just yet. When the time comes, I will inform myself - by researching, not asking- so I can make good choices. I prefer choice and infrmation, indeed. 

12 years ago

Pamela you speak true. If boys and men can get cancer from this virus, why are they excluded from treatment...if it is so valuable ?

Their risks are as high as women and girls and worse, the ability to detect it in men is nearly impossible.

Women can determine from annual PAP tests if there are any abnormal cells. If they are tested each year this can be caught before it does serious damage and progresses to cervical cancer.

What testing is done for men ?

There are far too many suspicious questions that need to be addressed.

Finally...viruses mutate. How long before this strain changes ?

12 years ago

Yes women can get annual pap tests, as I did, and prevent cervical cancer but for thousands of women, cancer will be inevitable.  Thus the reason why this vaccine is needed.  This drug can also prevent women from having to go through treatment for the problems that HPV causes.

As for men being given this drug, I would have no problem at all with this being tested for men and men being issued this vaccine as well.  However, just because they aren't doesn't mean that this vaccine is any less important or any less of a medical marvel.

12 years ago

CG D

You cannot know this as fact.

It is mere conjecture and propaganda.

Show us facts: actual case studies that prove this is genuinely a helpful thing.

You cannot do this because there are none !

Oh yes...studies for Merck do not count !

Everyone who receives this vaccine is a guinea pig...period.



This post was modified from its original form on 29 Mar, 17:57
12 years ago
Indigo - I am not going to continue to battle with you over this, it is pointless because you have your own opinion and nothing I say is going to change that.  Our centers will eventually offer this vaccine because we know lives will be saved.  You can argue against use of the vaccine, that is most certainly your right but there are many others like myself that will continue to look at this as nothing but a good thing.  Women are dying from a cancer that is preventable, that is a known fact and a very sad fact as well.  If this vaccine saves just one life, it is worth its weight in gold. 
12 years ago

Show us the studies that prove this is fact and not Merck propaganda.

In all of my questions to you, you have repeatedly avoided my request. I am not after your oppinion.

I am seeking documented evidence that is NOT from the US government or Merck that can help women make an informed choice: for or against.

Your "evidence", please ?

That is all I ask.

12 years ago
Indigo - I thought I was pretty clear in my previous post about my feelings, I don't know how I could of been clearer.  I have no intention of continuing this pointless argument with you.  I have one set of beliefs and you have another, you are just going to have to learn to accept that and move forward as I already have.
Anonymous
On an aside
12 years ago

Well, to chime in my 2 cents, I believe that it isn't sensible to target one specific drug company. ALL pharma companies are after profit and will hide the truth, will tell you only the good, but most of all, it is THE FDA that will allow or support the sell and release of unsafe drugs from these companies. Think of it, there are hundreds of scenarios where a recall was necessary-- some more famous than other. Vioxx is just one case, but before that it was the numerous diet pills.

I am actually against practically ALL prescription drugs for conditions that have a TREATABLE or PREVENTABLE source; and honestly so many things can be avoided with a healthy lifestyle. And when it comes to STD's or STV's, I don't know much but if both partners are responsible, keep healthy, screen themselves appropriately, they have a much higher chance of preventing diseases or stopping them very soon in their onset. (Thus I am ALSO against Gardasil, but moreso for the reasons Indigo gave, and just the ethical concept of why should all grils be factory-vaccinated for something sexually transmitted, and why not men, the messages it sends out, and think of the dozens of vaccines children aready have to receive, etc etc)

I think of it this way, on both sides, because both of my grandparents worked for Merck, in Darmstadt Gemany for over 30 years. But what shaped my stance the most was the documentary which I posted in Prject Pangaia which shows how the FDA really is working nowadays. Yes, people still try to point the finger at Merck, BUT, I see this as people falling prey once again to the FDA's tactics to shift blame away from themselves, so they can continue their profit-extortionism and "we're safe and right" image.

Watch it here if you haven't yet: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-2502546838698762400&q=prescription+for+disaster&hl=en

Then you'll realize it's more than just Merck, its EVERY pharma company, and more than the pharma companies, but ALL the rgulatroy institutes ans statutes....

This post was modified from its original form on 30 Mar, 5:58
Anonymous
12 years ago

Here's yet another example of unsafe drugs on the market being approved and supported by the FDA, even when the drawbacks are known:

http://apnews.excite.com/article/20070330/D8O6P8U85.html

Granted there is no 'safe' drug, but several parties share the resposnibility when a drug is put onto the market and advertised as a 'good thing for you'.

12 years ago
Pamela - With every drug there are risks.  Many times the benefits far outweigh the risks.  My husband is on blood pressure medication and it carries its own set of risks but the benefits do outweigh the risks.  We would rather he not have to take this medication but I plan on keeping him around for a very long time   I think all any of us can do is to research any drugs, or in this case a vaccine, and make informed choices as my husband and I did. 
Anonymous
12 years ago

Umm, I understand that already.

I said: 'granted there is no safe drug'.

My point, however: is not about drugs but about the fact that ANY drug COMPANY can put a drug on the market whose drawbacks outweigh the benefits, rather than vice versa (as it always is) but the FDA will still support it anyway.

12 years ago

I understood what you were saying and was simply adding my own feelings, no need to take it any other way.

12 years ago

Gardasil can only prevent one type of cervical cancer and is not 100% effective in doing so. There are other forms of cervical cancer it will not prevent at all.It is a choice that may help or may not. There are side effects to ANYTHING you use.Doctors are human beings and not gods. Human beings make mistakes. It is your choice to put your whole life in one person's hands if you so choose to. I prefer to talk to my doctor and look at what he tells me as educated suggestons.....which I may or may not decide to use.It is a personal choice for a woman to get this vaccination or not, and neither choice is wrong.(in my opinion)

 I also read somewhere(if I can find it again I'll post it here later today) that there is a type of seaweed that prevents the same type of cancer gardisil does. It is not a drug. It is not expensive. You put it in your bath water and soak in it.Ask yourself why the doctors aren't telling you about that choice?

Skennen(Peace)

An Ingredient in Seaweed May Offer Protection From HPV's
12 years ago
By Ron SwerdfigerResearch shows that carrageenan which is an ingredient of seaweed may protect against HPV'sAn ingredient found in seaweed may actually offer protection from HPV's

Steps continue to be made taking us ever closer to a fullproof prevention from cervical cancer. Latest research finds that an ingredient in seaweed that is also used in baby formulas and sexual lubricants strongly protects against HPV's which are commonly followed by the appearance of cervical cancer.

Carrageenan is the name of the seaweed ingredient and has been shown to inhibit HPV's from entering into blood cells in the body. Gardasil has recently been approved as a vaccine to protect girls against the threat of cervical cancer, however the drug is very expensive, making it difficult for all who needs it, to have access to it.

“We were floored by how much better it worked than anything else we have tested,” said John Schiller at the National Cancer Institute in Maryland. The researchers believe that by making a cheaper vaccination alternative available, then there is no reason why the dangerous HPV's that millions of women deal with can not be prevented.

RESEARCH ARTICLE
12 years ago
Common Chemical From Seaweed...
12 years ago

Could Help In The Fight Against Cervical Cancer Virus-HPV

July 15, 2006
www.medindia.com

Researchers claim that a common chemical used to thicken everything from baby food to sexual lubricants may help fight the virus that causes cervical cancer and genital warts.

Researchers found the thickener, carrageenan, prevented human papilloma viruses (HPV) from attaching to cells in laboratory tests. Certain strains of HPV can cause cervical cancer and genital warts.

In the study conducted by researchers from the National Cancer Institute, who reported their findings in Pathogens, a journal published by the Public Library of Science (PloS), it was reported that carrageenan, which is derived from red algae, may be developed and used to prevent HPV infection at low cost. However adding that their studies are yet to be confirmed, the researchers found that in a test tube, carrageenan inhibits the infectious ability of genital HPV with nearly a thousand-fold greater potency than other inhibitors tested.

It was reported that the FDA had recently approved a vaccine that targets HPV for the prevention of cervical cancer in women who might be at risk. But researchers also said that it doesn't protect against every strain of HPV and with its costs of around $360, it could prove to be too expensive for use in developing countries.

Explaining that the carrageenan, which is derived from the seaweed, red algae, could probably turn out to be best suited for testing as the thickener as its commonly used commercially is already used in sexual lubricants and other topically applied products, and food stuffs. They explained that HPV normally acts by attacking the cells by attaching themselves to the proteins present on the cell surfaces and then chemically gaining access to the cells. They further explained that the carrageenan prevented infection by stopping the virus from attaching to the cells.

John Schiller, senior investigator at the National Cancer Institute, in a press release said, "We were floored by how much better it worked than anything else we have tested. It's effective at 100-fold lower concentration than the next best inhibitor we've found. Further cautioning he added, "Our results do not prove that carrageenans will work as a practical HPV topical microbicide. The potent inhibition of infection of cells in dishes, coupled with the fact that carrageenan-based products are already in use for genital application, are promising, but we will need to do a well-controlled clinical trial before use of any of these products as an HPV inhibitor could be recommended."

Dr. Connie Trimble, an HPV researcher at Johns Hopkins University, explaining that this type of cancer require multiple weapons for treatment described the discovery as "a great thing." Trimble has been involved in the early preventive vaccine trials and is currently working on a maintenance vaccine for women who already have HPV.

Carrageenan
12 years ago
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Carrageenans or carrageenins (pronounced [ˌkærəˈgiːnəns]) are a family of linear sulphated polysaccharides extracted from red seaweeds. The name is derived from a type of seaweed that is abundant along the Irish coastline near the village of Carragheen. Gelatinous extracts of carrageen seaweed (also known as Irish moss) have been used as food additives for hundreds of years.[1]

Contents
 Properties

Carrageenans are large, highly flexible molecules which curl forming helical structures. This gives them the ability to form a variety of different gels at room temperature. They are widely used in the food and other industries as thickening and stabilizing agents. A particular advantage is that they are thixotropic — they thin under shear stress and recover their viscosity once the stress is removed. This means that they are easy to pump but stiffen again afterwards.

There are three main commercial classes of carrageenan:

  • Kappa — strong, rigid gels. Produced from Kappaphycus cottonii
  • Iota — soft gels. Produced from Eucheuma spinosum
  • Lambda — form gels when mixed with proteins rather than water, used to thicken dairy products. The most common source is Gigartina from Southern Europe.
12 years ago

It is interesting to note, however, that a lot of red algal species produce different types of carrageenans during their developmental history. For instance, the genera Gigartina produces mainly Kappa carrageenans during its gametophytic stage, and Lambda carrageenans during its sporophytic stage. See Alternation of generations.

All are soluble in hot water, but in cold water only the Lambda form (and the sodium salts of the other two) are soluble.

When used in food products, carrageenan has the EU additive E-number E407. Although introduced on an industrial scale in the 1930s, the first use was in China around 600 BC (where Gigartina was used) and in Ireland around 400 AD.

The largest producer is the Philippines, where cultivated seaweed produces about 80% of the world supply. The most commonly used are Cottonii (Kappaphycus alvarezii, K.striatum) and Spinosum (Eucheuma denticulatum), which together provide about three quarters of the World production. These grow at sea level down to about 2 metres. The seaweed is normally grown on nylon lines strung between bamboo floats and harvested after three months or so when each plant weighs around 1 kg.

The Cottonii variety has been reclassified as Kappaphycus cottonii by Maxwell Doty (1988), thereby introducing the genus Kappaphycus, on the basis of the phycocolloids produced (namely kappa carrageenan).

After harvest, the seaweed is dried, baled, and sent to the carrageenan manufacturer. There the seaweed is ground, sifted to remove impurities such as sand, and washed thoroughly. Next, the cellulose is removed from the carrageenan by centrifugation and filtration. The resulting carrageenan solution is then concentrated by evaporation. It is dried and ground to specification.

Desserts, ice cream, milk shakes, sauces — gel to increase viscosity

  • Beer — clarifier to remove haze-causing proteins
  • Pâtés and processed meat — Substitute fat to increase water retention and increase volume
  • Toothpaste — stabilizer to prevent constituents separating
  • Fire fighting foam — thickener to cause foam to become sticky
  • Shampoo and cosmetic creams — thickener
  • Air freshener gels
  • Shoe polish — gel to increase viscosity
  • Biotechnology — gel to immobilize cells/enzymes
  • Carrageenan has also been used to thicken skim milk, in an attempt to emulate the consistency of whole milk. This usage did not become popular. It was also used in diet colas.
  • Lambda carrageenan is used in animal models of inflammation used to test analgesics, because dilute carrageenan solution (1-2%) injected subcutaneously causes swelling and pain.
  • 12 years ago
    Thanks for the info Silent.  This does give women more choices and more choices is always a good thing  
    12 years ago
    Sexual lubricant and microbicide

    Laboratory studies suggest that carrageenans might function as topical microbicides, blocking sexually-transmitted viruses such as HIV and herpes. A study published in August 2006, measuring infectivity of pseudoviruses in vitro, found it potentially a thousand times as effective against HPV. If effective, its cost compared to HPV vaccines and its ability to target any strain of the virus would make it an attractive prevention measure against cervical cancer, especially in developing countries.[2] Some personal and condom lubricants are already made with carrageenan, and several of these products (such as Bioglide and Divine) were found to be potent HPV inhibitors in the study (though others that listed carrageenan in their ingredients were not).[3]

    Although the researchers are optimistic and show that the products "block HPV infectivity in vitro, even when diluted a million-fold", they emphasize that "it would be inappropriate to recommend currently available products for use as topical microbicides" until further human tests are complete. (By comparison, similarly optimistic results were expected for HIV prevention by cellulose sulfate gels, based on early tests, but the clinical trials had to be halted when the gel was found to increase incidence of HIV infection.)[4]

    A clinical trial by Population Council examining whether a carrageenan-based product known as Carraguard is effective as a topical microbicide for blocking HIV infection in women is expected to be completed in 2007.

    While effectiveness trials have not been completed and side effects have not been ruled out, companies are already planning to capitalize on the discovery, such as Dreamspan naming their lubricant Carrageenan after its principal ingredient.[5][6]

    rats, guinea pigs and monkeys which indicates that degraded carrageenan (poligeenan) may cause ulcerations in the gastro-intestinal tract and gastro-intestinal cancer.[7] Poligeenan is produced from carrageenan subjected to high temperatures and acidity. The average carrageenan molecule weighs over 100,000 Da while poligeenans have a molecular weight of less than 50,000 Da. A scientific committee working on behalf of the European Commission has recommended that the amount of degraded carrageenan be limited to a maximum of 5% (which is the limit of detection) of total carrageenan mass. Upon testing samples of foods containing high molecular weight carrageens, researchers found no poligeenan.[8]

    Agar

  • Anonymous
    12 years ago

    OH LOVELY!! I eat kelp and seaweed all the time!! I love kelp knots and I use laver and nori in place of spinach!

    This is exciting to know! Thank you for sharing that!

    12 years ago

    Io ( you're welcome )

    Skén:nen - peace

    12 years ago

    Silent E. thank you !

    This is refreshing information...with the research to support it. That is what I was asking for.

    I will pass this on to all the women I know.

    12 years ago

    Choice is always good.  With clinical trials showing Gardasil to be highly effective against strains 16 and 18, as well as other choices like the ones listed above, women are always going to come out the winners! 



    This post was modified from its original form on 02 Apr, 16:44
    12 years ago
    To reply to most posts on this topic.  Try having a 14 year old and being told by her doctor that her pap test came back abnormal and that she might have symptoms of cervical cancer.  then a biopsy is done that is definitely not pleasant (it hurts like h......!). then to know that she must have more paps every 6 months.  but..that there is something out there that may help her.  My daughter CHOSE to receive the Guardisil txts.  She had the choice and that's what she wanted.  She doesn't want to have to think about getting cervical cancer, even though she knows that it doesn't prevent all types.  She just wants to grow up and not worry so much, and she thinks there is plenty to worry about out there besides this.  That was her choice, not mine.
    This thread is archived. To reply to it you must re-activate it.