Home   >   Dr. Ruman's Newsletters  >  An exciting new vaccine that may prevent cervical cancer

  |  
An exciting new vaccine that may prevent cervical cancer
Just approved by the FDA, Gardasil protects recipients against 4 types of HPV virus

  |  

Hello everyone:

 

I have exciting news items to tell you about, a new vaccine that can prevent cervical cancer. My practice is offering a new vaccine called Gardasil, which has been approved by the FDA to prevent cervical cancer in females between the ages of 9 and 26.

 

Gardasil is a vaccine against the HPV or Human Papilloma Virus. The Gardasil vaccine protects recipients against 4 types of HPV (6, 11, 16 and 18), including the two types that cause most cervical cancers and the two types that cause the most genital warts

HPV is a sexually transmitted disease that causes genital warts, abnormal Pap tests, and cervical cancer.

  • About 20 million people are infected with HPV in the United States.
  • Almost 3,700 women die of cervical cancer in the US each year.  Cervical cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death in women worldwide.
  • In addition, certain low-risk types of HPV cause genital warts and can lead to abnormal Pap results.
  • Since many people have no symptoms and do not even know that they are infected with HPV, they can pass on their HPV infection to their sexual partners without knowing.
  • There is no cure for HPV infections.

 

Gardasil won't prevent all forms of genital warts or cervical cancers, but it is highly effective at preventing genital warts and cervical cancers that are caused by the types of HPV that the vaccine targets.

 

Gardasil must be given in three doses over six months (the second dose is given two months after the first; the third dose six months after the first).

 

Since Gardasil prevents HPV, a sexually transmitted disease, it is important that it be given before people become sexually active. Gardasil can be routinely given to girls when they are 11 or 12 years of age and can be started as early as age 9. It is also recommended for women 13 to 26 years old.

 

Gardasil does not prevent disease in people if they have already been infected with the HPV types that are covered by the vaccine prior to vaccination. However females with current or past infection with one or more vaccine-related HPV types prior to vaccination were protected from the diseases caused by the other remaining HPV types contained in the vaccine so it is still a consideration for sexually active females between the ages of 9 and 26.

 

Gardasil is not a 'STD vaccine' in the sense that it prevents all STDs. It simply provides protection against certain types of HPV, but not other STDs, such as HIV or herpes. Annual pap smears are still recommended.


If you are a female between the ages of 18 and 26 or have a daughter that is between of 18 and 26 and want the vaccine series please email me so we can order enough vaccinations.

 

Sadly this vaccination is NOT covered by insurance so it will cost $200 per injection ($600 for the series of three). Since insurance is not covering this vaccine it will need to be paid for at the time of your visit.

 

I have gotten a lot of questions from women who are over 26 or have been sexually active thus not part of the demographic of the Gardasil cervical cancer study. They all asked me the same thing “What about me? Can’t I have the vaccine even though I have been sexually active or am over 26 years old?”

 

The honest answer is “I don’t know.” I hate not having the answer but there simply is no study data yet.  But as a woman I obviously understand why we would be interested in this vaccine no matter what my age or sexual history, just in case it could help.

 

If you want to discuss this vaccine I invite you to setup an appointment so together we can figure out what is best for you.

In closing, please stay well and thank you for letting me your doctor.

 

Andrea



Back to Top
Get Dr. Ruman's free newsletter!

Andrea Ruman, M.D. - Doctor of Internal Medicine
© 2006 - 2018 All Rights Reserved • Site concept, design & development by A Far Site Better
Dr. Andrea Ruman: Female medical doctor, physician, internist for Marina Del Rey, Santa Monica, West Los Angeles (LA), and Culver City in California. Specialties include women's health (including physical examinations, pelvic exams and pap smears), weight loss support and preventive medicine.