Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The MUST READ post: Links to HPV-related facts and opinions

Introductory note in which I plead with you to have patience and read this entire long post, and explain why you want to do that:
MEN and WOMEN alike should read this post, not just for their children's sake, but also for their own sake. I thought I'd done a lot of HPV research and learned a lot, but based on information sent to me after my call for links I learned I don't know the half of it, and that it is all vital to know.

It's not just a female problem, it's a male problem too. And it's not just cervical cancer, it's also anal and oral cancer too. And condoms don't protect you. The vaccine isn't the cure-all. And there are things you need to do, and things you need to teach your kids, in order to best protect yourselves.

So read on...


From comments, emails, references, and my own search of the blogosphere I've collected links that I think will benefit you as you research HPV and the HPV vaccines on the market.

The more we know, the better we can live!

But remember...consider the source and come to your own conclusions. Read with questions. This isn't gospel. And please feel free to comment with questions, concerns, or refuting information. I'm not married to any of this...I just want knowledge.

That said...although I have read information at each one of these links, they do represent the author's own opinions and linking them here doesn't mean that (a) I agree or disagree, per se, (b) can personally endorse it, (c) know with certainty that it is right or wrong, and (d) guarantee it in any way.

All I can promise is that it will be interesting and potentially informative. So enjoy!

Note: If I missed any links you sent to me (apologies!), please alert me and I'll correct that. I got a lot of data in a variety of places and tried my best to collect it all. By the same token, if you wish to send me a link to add to this list, please go ahead and send it.

Links to HPV opinions and information:

* One of the first people who contacted me was Lynne Eldridge M.D., co-author, of the book Avoiding Cancer One Day At A Time. Unfortunately I don't have a copy of the book to review, but you can find it at most major bookstores, and the reviews seem impressed. I will link you to her Web site. Note: Dr. Eldridge was recently quoted on ABC News.

She wrote:

Julie,

I would love to contribute to your much needed blog. As a physician, author, and most of all a mother, I have researched HPV ad nauseum, as well as prayed as a parent!

My brother (an epidemiologist) and I published the book "Avoiding Cancer One Day At A Time" (Beavers Pond Press, Copyright 2007), and put extra emphasis on explaining this emotional and confusing topic.

In the blogs I have read I hear so many people who talk about how they wish they had received the HPV vaccine. For those of you who did not, and developed HPV I want to first make a comment, there is still hope! Solid credible research has demonstrated dietary factors can make a difference. Foods containing lutein/zeaxnthin, beta-cryptoxanthin, vitamin C, vitamin A,and lycopene, have all been shown to clear the HPV virus more quickly, giving it less chance to cause the inflammation that causes cancer. For those that find these phytochemical names and vitamins intimidating, visit www.ars.usda.gov/services/docs.htm?docid=9673 (My note: That's the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 18
Nutrient Lists
). This site contains information about the phytochemical and vitamin content of many foods, and can help you choose cancer-fighting foods. A few studies have also shown that switching to sanitary napkins instead of tampons may help with the clearance of the virus.

Am I a total advocate of the HPV vaccine? It depends upon the situation. From an epidemiological standpoint, knowing that cervical cancer is the second most common cause of cancer worldwide in women, almost all cases are caused by HPV, and 70 percent of cases could be prevented by vaccination, I am an advocate. If I had a nine year old daughter would I request that she be vaccinated? I would probably request waiting a year until the vaccine had been "tested" on those at greater risk, to see if any thus far unseen side effects surfaced.

The subject of HPV is loaded with misunderstanding and emotions and I am so glad you are addressing this. Some people scoff, knowing that HPV is present in actually the majority of sexually active adults in the U.S. We need to remind people that only certain strains are responsible for the development of cancer: HPV 16 and HPV 18, as well as HPV 31,33,35,39,45,51,52,56,58,59,68,69 and perhaps others.

Most people who are infected with one of these strains NEVER develop cancer. Factors that raise the risk include smoking, having multiple children, or a damaged immune system.

How can we be safe?

-Have regular Pap smears even if you have been vaccinated
-Practice safe sex, use condoms
-Men do not have symptoms except for the rare case of penile or anal cancer. If you are in a new relationship questions you can ask are: has he ever been with a woman that had an abnormal PAP smear, needed a colposcopy, cryosurgery, LEAP procedure, or had cervical cancer?
-Being uncircumcised raises the risk of transmission of HPV, so women involved with uncircumcised men should practice extra prudence

Thanks again Julie!

Lynne Eldridge M.D.
Author, "Avoiding Cancer One Day At A Time"
Avoidcancernow.com


Somervell County Salon
also contacted me, with a link to a list of posts about HPV. The search result link worked for me so I hope I am able to set it up properly for you. In case the search result link does not work for you, I will also link to the main site. On the left is a search button. If you type in "HPV" and click search, you can find all of the links.

Link to HPV search results

Link to Somervell County Salon (main)

* Reproductive Rights Prof Blog, A Member of the Law Professor Blogs Network by Caitlin E. Borgmann, Assistant Professor CUNY School of Law included information from the Washington Post on March 1, 2007. She also includes links to other blog entries on this topic, such as an entry that explains HPV is a male problem too. If you have any interest in female reproductive rights, this is an interesting blog above and beyond HPV issues. For example, yesterday (March 20) I learned that it was back up your birth control day.

* Elaborating on the fact that it's not only women at risk from HPV (did you hear that Bones? Men just might have a dog in this hunt, after all.), I'd like to link you to two general information sheets from the National Cancer Institute (US National Institutes of Health) that explain how HPV can also cause anal and oral cancer:

Being infected with the human papillomavirus (HPV) can affect the risk of developing anal cancer


Oral sex linked to mouth cancer (two sides: one believes this, others are skeptical) reviews a study in 2004 that fpund the same HPV strain found in some cases of cervical cancer was also found in some cases of oral cancer

* For more information about HPV and oral cancer, see The Human Papillomavirus at the Oral Cancer Foundation. This was interesting to read just for knowledge, as well. It also contains important links to six research articles that document the correlation between HPV and oral cancer (including one from The Journal of Clinical Oncology in 2006).

* INTRIGUING Q&A from the Washington Post detailing discussion among regular people and Dr. Richard Schlegel (Chair of Pathology of Georgetown) who has been working on papillomaviruses for approximately 25 years.

* Matthew Wright, based on this Q&A, wrote This Used to Be About Women’s Health for The Texas Observer.

* And She Wrote included an excellent update to the latest Texas HPV-vaccine requirement, "'One Less' State Mandating Gardasil Shot" and also touches on the HPV-vaccine debate, as well as her personal concerns (which I share)

That news story is at Texas Lawmakers Vote on Cancer Vaccine

(This turn of events, as you might guess, made me happy, although it generated two questions:

1. Why does every mention of the HPV-vaccine only mention Gardasil? Is Cervarix not available in the US? {Ahh, quick check seems to indicate that it applied in 2005 in the EU and plans to file in the US in April 2007...no WONDER Merck is so aggressive, trying to land the market share and cement brand name ownership. No WONDER they'll spend so much. Competition is breathing down their neck. And the generics just took hold of their big moneymakers.)

2. How and why did The Washington Post become the HPV-issue expert, and most often quoted source? Please do not mistake this question for snark. The Washington Post has been one of my favorite sources. Their secret of success is what I'm after.)

* There are a ton of blogs out there that discuss this issue. If you want more or need more, feel free to send me a link (I'll add it in) or do a search for HPV+blogs for more opinions.

* A few more links:

Genital HPV Infection - CDC Fact Sheet

HPV (human papillomavirus) - US Food and Drug Administration

National Cancer Institute's Human Papillomaviruses and Cancer: Questions and Answers

Henry J Kaiser Family Foundation's HPV Vaccine: Implementation and Financing Policy (Fact Sheet)(a PDF, requires PDF viewer) VERY INTERESTING! I say read this one, for sure.

* And of course, if you need, my past blog entries contain more links, opinion, and information:

Call for links


Cure cancer with a single shot?!? 1 in 4 infected?!? ACK ACK ACK! (straight breakdown of facts)

Think it's your body, your choice? Think again...

Texas Gov Rick Perry buckles to Merck; Executive Order Requires Gardasil vaccine for all girls

copyright 2007 Julie Pippert

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9 comments:

Mary-LUE said...

This is a very thorough presentation of links, Julie. I am impressed. I, for one, like the idea of having a choice in whether or not my daughter will have the vaccination. I do feel fortunate that, at almost 7 years, I have a couple of years to see what happens with this debate. I'll keep reading.

Alice said...

Thanks for the link and for providing such a comprehensive overview of the issues involved. And way better than the Washington Post I might add.

Jo said...

I know I've already said it but thank you for your help. ;)

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