Younger girls are more likely than adult women to report side effects after receiving Gardasil, the human papillomavirus vaccine. The side effects are non-serious and similar to those associated with other vaccines, according to a new study funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and published in the Journal of Women's Health. As part of an ongoing study and evaluation of this relatively new vaccine, researchers surveyed 899 girls and young women (ages 11-26) within two weeks after they received the Gardasil vaccine injection in the upper arm. The survey, which took place in 2008, also found that while most girls and young women did know that the vaccine can prevent cervical cancer, and that three doses are recommended, many didn't know that the vaccine can also prevent genital warts and abnormal pap smears.
Research led by Lauren Cole, a public health graduate student, and Dr. Edward Peters, Associate Professor of Public Health and Director of the Epidemiology Program at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans, reports that the incidence of head and neck cancer has risen at sites associated with Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) infection, with the greatest increase among middle-aged white men. At the same time, younger, Non-Hispanic blacks experienced a substantial decrease in these cancers. They also found that the disease process for tumors associated with HPV is different from those caused by exposure to tobacco and alcohol, with implications for treatment. The findings are published this month in the PLoS ONE journal. Tobacco and alcohol are the most common risk factors for cancers of the head and neck, but HPV infection is emerging as an important risk factor as well.
According to a study published Online First by The Lancet, breast, cervical and stomach cancers are responsible for the majority of cancer deaths among women in India, while lung, oral and stomach cancers are the leading causes of cancer death in Indian men. The study was conducted by Professor Prabhat Jha, Center for Global Health Research, St. Michael's Hospital and University of Toronto, ON, Canada, and colleagues across India and worldwide. In India, approximately 75% of individuals live in rural areas. However, estimated mortality rates for specific cancers have primarily been based on data from India's 24 urban population-based cancer registries, with only 2 registries representing rural areas. As a result, the team set out to evaluate cancer mortality in the Million Death Study (MDS).
A study published on bmj.com reveals that women with pre-cancerous cervical conditions can still benefit from a significantly reduced risk of reoccurring disease after receiving the HPV vaccine. The researchers examined data of 1, 350 women aged 15-26 years between 2001 and 2003 from 24 developing and developed countries. During one of two trials, the women were randomly assigned to receive either human papillomavirus (HPV) quadrivalent vaccine or placebo. The participants were then diagnosed with HPV-related vaginal or vulval diseases (including genital warts ) or underwent cervical surgery. Participants received follow-up for about 4 years. In the two trials, over 17, 000 women participated, however in this study the researchers only examined women who developed HPV-related disease. According to results from earlier studies, HPV vaccination does not reduce progression to cervical pre-cancers in women with ongoing infections at the time they received vaccination.
Prevention is better than cure; however, when it comes to screening for cancer new research shows that U.S. health services are not as cost-effective as international, and publically run, counterparts. The research, published in The Milbank Quarterly, compares U.S. screening services to screening in the Netherlands and found that while three to four times more screening took place in the United States, the rates of mortality were similar. The research was conducted by Dr. Martin L. Brown from the National Cancer Institute in the United States, alongside colleagues from the Erasmus MC University Medical Center in Rotterdam. "Since 2010 new laws in the U.S. require private health insurance plans and Medicare to cover preventive services with no deductibles or copayments, " said Brown.