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Germany to lead the way in cervical cancer vaccine

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In Germany, the Standing Commission for Vaccination is recommending that all girls between the ages of 12 and 17 be vaccinated against the Human papilloma virus which causes precancerous and cancerous lesions. About 70 per cent of cervical tumours are caused by the papilloma 16 and papilloma 17 viruses.

 

Some three million teenage girls in Germany are to be urged to take part in a mass vaccination campaign to help to stamp out cervical cancer.

 

Cervical cancer kills around 17,000 women a year in industrialised countries which, thanks to systematic smear tests, is significantly lower than the 218,000 victims in developing nations. Despite relatively low death rates in the West, German doctors say mass vaccination should be deployed.

 

I think this is a bloody good idea, and one which should be followed across Europe. The course of three injections, costing €150 (about £100) each could mark the beginning of the end of the smear test.

 

Here is the article from the Times: Cervical cancer jabs for girls of 12

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12 to 17 may be to late. 8 to 11 would be more preemptive and beneficial.

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Germany leads the way? From the Times article above, we see that within Europe, Austria's further along, as are some US states - not just recommending, but compulsory vaccinations:

 

 

The German Commission, by urging vaccination only for female teenagers, has dodged one of the major debates in Europe: whether to immunise boys. Austria has started a vaccination programme that includes boys on the grounds that they can pass on the virus through sex.

 

The focus elsewhere however is still on young girls. Some US states have made the vaccination compulsory for all 12-year-old girls. Over one million doses of the vaccine have been sold in the US since it was introduced last June.

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€150? Ah great... Women over 18 will have to pay for the vaccination themselves... I guess it is a better choice than risking cervical cancer though...

 

Edit: I just researched a little, and it is actually €150 per shot, and you need three shots to be vaccinated, so that is a good €500 for the entire deal. :wacko:

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2/3 of sexually active adult have had contact with the virus (numbers vary depending on the study)- but most of the infections will go away within a couple of years without treatment. So if you meet someone "sexually active", the risk of him/her being a carrier is actually lower than 2/3. They never know, as there is no routine test for HPV, they only test you once you have cellular abnormalities (smear test).

 

It's not sure yet whether the vaccine might also help to get rid of a persistent infection.

 

I think they also should study the vaccine on men. They can get genital warts like women (but those strains are not cancerogenic) can get penis cancer (rare) or throat cancer (even more rare ... from oral activities...) from the virus, and of course they can always transmit the virus.

 

and, a second brand of the vaccine will probably get approved this year, so might be interesting how much it will cost.

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This vaccination is already popular in the U.S...I myself have had it.

 

Damn expensive though...3 rounds of injections at $250 a pop (in the US at least)!

 

But considering that they estimate that, at any given time, 26.8% of women aged 14 to 59 were infected with at least one strain of HPV (the main cause of cervical cancer in women), it's definitely worth it.

 

Note: @ zee...they ARE sure that the vaccine will NOT cure an existing infection, it will only protect against future ones.

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I talked about this with my doctor today; she said, that 80% of all HPV infections the immune system can deal with on its own, and a regular pap smear will help notice any changes on the cervix... She thinks it is an unnecessary immunization for sexually active women.

 

Also, what is up with everyone being pregnant?! I was the only patient there who was not pregnant!

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Also, what is up with everyone being pregnant?! I was the only patient there who was not pregnant!

I Know! I stopped drinking the water, I am sure there is something in the water in Germany at the moment.

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She thinks it is an unnecessary immunization for sexually active women.

That doctor is an idiot. The one and only time that it is unnecessary is after you have already been exposed. That is why it is hugely important to vaccinate girls early and early means before 11 years old and most definitely before they become sexually active.

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For a sexually active woman it is very likely she has already been exposed. And that obviously the immune system got rid of the virus by itself. The question was not whether it makes sense for 11 year old girls to get vaccinated.

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Wow, I actually agree with eurovol. Mariposa, the other 20% of HPV viruses your body won't be able to deal with, and then you're in for a lifetime of monitoring and paps to make sure it won't develop into cervical cancer. Why not? It's the same cost of buying a fun pair of shoes - and it's about your health!

 

I am certainly getting this vaccine when I go home.

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For a sexually active woman it is very likely she has already been exposed. And that obviously the immune system got rid of the virus by itself. The question was not whether it makes sense for 11 year old girls to get vaccinated.

There are several strains of HPV...the chances that the woman has been exposed to EVERY strain are slim to none. And even if you have one strain, the vaccine will protect you against all the others.

 

Your doctor was extremely irresponsible to tell you that.

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The immunization would not replace paps anyway though! This vaccine is only for certain types of the HPV virus, not all kinds.

 

I have never bought a pair of shoes for €500. €500 is more than what I have available to pay for food and bills every month.

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Mariposa, it's simply ridiculous to argue that this vaccine is not worth the money. And insurance will cover it in many cases anyway. So the only question left is, why WOULDN't you want to get it?

 

And the fact that your doctor told you it was unnecessary makes me think twice about going to a german gynecologist.

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Mariposa, it's simply ridiculous to argue that this vaccine is not worth the money. And insurance will cover it in many cases anyway. So the only question left is, why WOULDN't you want to get it?

My insurance doesn't cover it (along with all gesetzliche Versicherungen). They only cover it if you are under 18. I am not. I personally can't afford it, simple as that.

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Alright Mariposa, then don't get the shot. I would personally save up for it as I think this is a great vaccine and I think it's worth it.

 

Regardless of what your doctor thinks.

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the other 20% of HPV viruses your body won't be able to deal with, and then you're in for a lifetime of monitoring and paps to make sure it won't develop into cervical cancer.

but you should be doing that anyways, I hope this vaccine is not giving women a false sense of security and forgetting their yearly check ups. :huh:

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Alright Mariposa, then don't get the shot. I would personally save up for it as I think this is a great vaccine and I think it's worth it.

 

Regardless of what your doctor thinks.

well said, RRH...mariposa: if you can't afford it, fine, don't get it. but don't argue that's it's unnecessary when that obviously is not the case.

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Sorry Carm, I didn't mean you don't have to get paps or anything! I would still do that annually, with or without the vaccine.

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