HPV Vaccine Becomes the Center Of Republican Debate

HPV is extremely common—75 percent of all women will eventually come in contact with this virus. But the good news is that most of those cases will clear up by themselves in as little as two years. Plus, there’s the additional protection of vaccination.

Nearly 100 percent of cervical cancers are caused by high-risk HPV, says Mark Einstein, M.D., director of clinical research at Montefiore Medical Center and Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. If left untreated, cervical cancer may require chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or a full hysterectomy, and may even result in infertility or death.

The vaccine Gardasil protects against four of the most common strains of HPV, 16 and 18 (which can cause cervical cancer) and 6 and 11 (which cause genital warts).

Another vaccine, Cervarix, has also been approved by the FDA and is highly effective in treating strains 16 and 18. The National Cancer Institute reports that there is evidence that Cervarix may also protect against other types of HPV that cause cancer.

The HPV Vaccine can be beneficial, however, a government mandate may not be popular.

Do we want government officials dictating medical policy?

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