Gardasil: has your daughter had this vaccine? - page 3

My daughters' pediatrician is encouraging all female patients to receive this vaccine. I have mixed feelings about this. I do not want my girls to get cervical cancer from HPV, but in 15 yrs from... Read More

  1. by   VieraGrl1030
    Quote from queenjean
    My 11 year old has not yet gotten this vaccine.

    I have mixed feelings as well. I am glad to see drug and research companies working on this; I am disgusted that Merck pushed for state by state legislation for mandatory immunization for all 6th grade girls. That right there put me off. Hello, that was simply money-grubbing right there.

    Another thing that annoys me is the "You are a horrible parent if you chose not to get this for your daughter, how could you choose not to prevent cancer" argument. Yeah, that's helpful. I think certain media outlets have painted this as a conservative christian/anti-sex ed group versus pro-sex ed/responsible medicine issue; I dont' fall into either group so easily. So liberal the democrats seem to conservative to me, very liberal in my education ideas; but I feel that my daughter, her physician, and I get to make the choices on her health care, not some state legislature that doesn't no squat about the ins and outs of health care.

    I also take issue with the hysteria surrounding cervical cancer. Yes, about 3,500 women die of it every year. MOST of those women fall into several VERY high risk groups--immigrants with no routine healthcare, women who haven't had pap smears in >5 years, women with other health issues that cause immunosuppression. Not that treatment for precancerous lesions isn't expensive or scary; but for most people who have routine health care and access to information, cervical cancer is not a an issue.

    In the end, as my dd nears 13 or 14, I will probably encourage her to get it, but I'm not going to force it on her. We've got a pretty open relationship, she's a level-headed kid, and I'm confident she'll make the right decision for herself. I've given her this option for things like the flu vaccine and her orthodontics, and I've always felt she's made really informed choices there.

    I encourage anyone questions about cervical cancer and HPV to read a couple of great books: "Abnormal Pap Smears, what every woman needs to know" and "The V Book." Both written by physicians, both detail the A&P of the female reproductive organs, potential problems and diseases, treatments, etc. The Abnormal Pap smear particularly discusses different risk factors and treatment options.

    VieraGrl, I'd really recommend your friend check out those books.
    I appreciate the suggestion sometimes it takes more than just "go see the doctor" doctors themselves aren't always that helpful either sometimes. It is just very annoying that just because I am a nursing student, I know everything about everything. I don't have all the answers and even if I did I wouldn't feel comfortable with giving them out in case I am wrong. I can't diagnose things and that really gets on my nerves.
  2. by   Anne36
    Ya know, I'm really disgusted that public health has created a media blitz to
    blatently focus on and bullzeye the false notion that everyone who gets cervical cancer has somehow got VD. Not everyone who gets cevical cancer has the virus and even if they did all it does it attach a stigma to this disease. It almost makes women with cc look like hos. All it takes is one time and that could even be your husband if you wait for marraige. I married my first sexual partner and Ive never had cancer but I have had abnormal paps.
  3. by   PsychRN-Kris
    My 11 year old daughter's pediatrician also recommended the vaccine. She also recommended the mennigococcol vaccine as well. She suggested we get both done sometime in the next few years during middle school. When I asked about possible negative, long-term effects of the Gardasil vaccine she said she didn't know of any that have popped up as of yet.

    I'm a little nervous about it. I think I'm going to wait a bit and see what pans out on this new vaccine. I also plan to talk to my daughter's endocrinologist (my daughter has been a type 1 diabetic since 1 yrs old) and see what his opinion is.
  4. by   Indy
    My daughter is 14 and has not had this vaccine. But, she's autistic and I think preventing pregnancy would be just as helpful. She isn't mentally ready for sex ed; she barely has figured out after 3 years, how to handle feminine hygiene.

    I'm equally worried about a lot of things: side effects from a vaccine, any form of VD, cancer, and how not to inflict physical harm on anyone who looks at my daughter as though they might take advantage of her. I really think that someone who took the time to know her, wouldn't at her age now, want to have sex with her if they are normal and sane, because they would hopefully know it's wrong to take advantage of any type of handicap. Well that's what I tell myself; I know she'll grow up eventually, but I don't want to be a grandmother and thus a mom by default, I've already done that... and I also don't want my child to suffer as a result of any sexual activity.

    And I second the question as to why men aren't being targeted for this vaccine as well. It's vaguely misogynistic (sp?) to only vaccinate half the population. Hmm. And then there is the question of, suppose we vaccinate everyone against it and succeed in wiping out those specific strains of HPV. (won't happen in my lifetime probably) What then becomes of the other strains? Would they become more powerful and/or resistant to drug treatment?

    Oh and the public isn't always astute enough to actually listen to the media blitz and get the message the way it's put out. I met a patient who says her teenage granddaughter thinks the vaccine will prevent pregnancy! I told her what it really does and urged her to tell her grandchildren this. She said, "yeah, hmm it does seem to me that what she said sounded too good to be true, but I wasn't sure what the truth was."
  5. by   queenjean
    Quote from Anne36
    Ya know, I'm really disgusted that public health has created a media blitz to
    blatently focus on and bullzeye the false notion that everyone who gets cervical cancer has somehow got VD. Not everyone who gets cevical cancer has the virus and even if they did all it does it attach a stigma to this disease. It almost makes women with cc look like hos. All it takes is one time and that could even be your husband if you wait for marraige. I married my first sexual partner and Ive never had cancer but I have had abnormal paps.
    You know, though, I appreciate that the coverage *has* focused on how pervasive HPV is in our present society. When I was diagnosed with pre-cancerous lesions over a decade ago, when I started to do some reading on it, I was embarrassed and horrified that I had an STD. I had a difficult time finding any information on it, and I was embarrassed to ask because of the stigma of STDs.

    When I worked at a women's clinic, we developed a handout on abnormal paps and HPV. We tried to be very reassuring to people that, yes, while it is an STD, it's like the common cold of STDs--that the vast majority of sexually active people get it. We've removed a couple of aspects of embarrassment in terms of sexuality--pregnancy and contraception come to mind. Only a generation or so ago contraception was not a polite topic, and pregnancy was only in certain terms. My grandmother was forced to quite her job as a secretary because pregnancy was not a condition that a working woman should advertise--I mean, it meant that she was having SEX!!! She was told that "her condition might be a source of embarrassment for some of their more sensitive and high-society clients." And she had been married to my grandfather for 6 years prior to this; god forbid she have been a single mother.

    So I'm all for the de-stigmatization of STDs. The more people are comfortable talking about them, the more information we can get out in terms of prevention and treatment, as well as living with an STD. But what I am uncomfortable with is the blanket treatment of ANY health issue, including this one. Mandatory vaccinations make me a bit uncomfortable, anyhow; mandatory HPV vaccination with a vaccine that has been on the market less than a year and costs over $300 a series and is only made by ONE company...that's a bit much.
  6. by   HM2VikingRN
    Quote from TazziRN
    I have told each of my DD's boyfriends to their faces, "If I ever find out you had sex with my daughter without a condom, I will staple one to your weinie."


    :spin:

    I saw this and had to share.....

    South Riding, Va.
    Can you imagine a vaccine to prevent prostate cancer? That would be a welcome scientific breakthrough. But what if prostate cancer were caused by a sexually transmitted virus? Would we be engaging in a national debate about the promiscuity of men and whether or not they "deserve" prostate cancer? Would Bob Dole or Rudy Giuliani become the "poster children" for men who deserve what they got because of their past behavior?
    For critics of Gardasil who cite "lifestyle choice" as a reason to oppose the cervical cancer vaccine (which immunizes against four strains of cancer), I would suggest that there is a long list of illnesses that we treat at taxpayer expense related to lifestyle choice. Heart disease and high cholesterol can be caused by poor diet. A choice. Skin cancer can be caused by overexposure to the sun and failure to wear sunscreen. A choice. Lung cancer, emphysema, complications from obesity or diabetes--linked to personal choices.
    Men carry the human papillomavirus at the same rate as women. Most men will never know they carry it and will never develop a single symptom. Women, however, can develop cervical cancer from the virus and a number of other complications that can be painful, life-altering or fatal. Women, therefore, need to speak out to protect their health and their lives. This is about health, not sex.
    The same cultural conservatives who oppose abortion claim they are only trying to save lives, not control women. Here is their opportunity to save lives. Support Gardasil. Unless, of course, it is about controlling women.Kim Stanley
    http://www.thenation.com/doc/20070507/letter
    Last edit by HM2VikingRN on Apr 25, '07
  7. by   AmandaBrittainy
    As a nurse and a victim of abnormal pap smears before sexual activity, I would advocate this for any woman - there is a stigma related to this vaccine and it is that people who are sexually active need it. Well here some news for the noses held high - you can have HPV on your cervix whether you are sexually active or not. Just like you have warts on your skin, these are related viruses and we do not necessarily catch them from someone although the more sexually active a woman is, the more she is at risk for contact with more strains of HPV, and it is estimated that 99% of cervical cancers are caused by HPV. I have not heard of any adverse implications in the future but would not hesitate to have my daughters vaccinated. I would not prevent them from getting it just to prove to everyone they were not having sex - this is the major dilemma about this that no one wants to come out and say, I am not one for beating around the bush.
  8. by   AmandaBrittainy
    I loved your posting, I had just got done ranting about people being opposed due to the STD stigma. It is the same non sense that we see with certain religious groups avidly opposing birth control yet premarital sex is at an alltime high amongst thier children whether they like it or not.
  9. by   justme1972
    I am a huge supporter of vaccines...but my daughter will not be receiving this vaccine until she is at least 12 years old. She isn't having sex (at 3 years old), so I don't believe it's necessary anytime soon.

    I shuttered when I saw that states like Texas were going to make it mandatory....yes, Texas decided that they would not, but I was going to sign a waiver for that.

    Adults, is one thing, but with children...just me personally, I don't feel comfortable being one of the first in line for a vaccine being given to the general public...I would want to wait a little while and see what happens.
  10. by   MB37
    I just wrote a research paper on Gardasil/Cervarix (another vax awaiting FDA approval), so I can clear up a couple of things. They are currently testing Gardasil on men, on my campus actually. It has been shown to be safe so far but they are waiting to see about efficacy. HPV behaves differently in the male body, so there is no guarantee that the same vax will work in men. Also, the only KNOWN side effects are slight fever and pain at the injection site. The vaccine was tested in 22,000 women and they were observed for 5 years. Right now we don't know if there could be a possible rare adverse effect, as 22,000 isn't a lot of people. We also don't know when or if girls who get vaccinated at 12 will need a booster. I think it's a good idea, but I oppose making it mandatory yet.
  11. by   justme1972
    Quote from MMW37
    I just wrote a research paper on Gardasil/Cervarix (another vax awaiting FDA approval), so I can clear up a couple of things. They are currently testing Gardasil on men, on my campus actually. It has been shown to be safe so far but they are waiting to see about efficacy. HPV behaves differently in the male body, so there is no guarantee that the same vax will work in men. Also, the only KNOWN side effects are slight fever and pain at the injection site. The vaccine was tested in 22,000 women and they were observed for 5 years. Right now we don't know if there could be a possible rare adverse effect, as 22,000 isn't a lot of people. We also don't know when or if girls who get vaccinated at 12 will need a booster. I think it's a good idea, but I oppose making it mandatory yet.
    Thank you for the information...I'm more concerned with things like women who take it, and have babies later, that may take it while pregnant and a test may not yet show pregnancy or become pregnant a short time later.

    I know it's a tough call for women of teenage girls...very tough call.
  12. by   StacieRN
    Quote from rninwch
    One thing to remember: Gardasil only protects against 4 of the 10 strains of HPV that cause cancer, and it does not protect at all against the other 20 strains of sexually transmitted HPV.

    True, but misleading. Those four strains account for over 70% of the cervical cancer cases. So the vaccine is much more effective than this poster makes it sound.

    As someone who is in remission for cervical cancer, and highly likely to have it both return and cause my death, I just want to say I wish the vaccine had been available to me.

    I married my high-school bf at 18. I was faithful, he was not. We divorced after 5 years. I had 1 subsequent relationship of 4 years duration. No other sexual relationships.

    Now I am 38 and facing probable death.

    Yes, there may be side effects of the vaccine. Trust me, the negative effects of cancer are worse!

    Be your daughters advocates, get them the vaccine. Please.



    Stacie
    Last edit by StacieRN on Apr 26, '07
  13. by   crackerjack
    I talked to my doc about Gardisil with regards to female-only recommendations. His statement was that it was rediculous for it to *only* be targeted for females "because we men can get it to, that's how you women get it...FROM US" LOL He said the reason it is only being given to females right now is because the studies were only done on females, so no known safety/danger parameters for males. He said he felt that in due time testing will be done on males and it will be marketed to both genders, as it should be. Early studies were targeted at women becuase of the relationship between HPV and cervical cancer although for the life of me I can't figure out why they couldn't have just included males in the beginning and started work on batting down HPV from both sides.

close