Germany to lead the way in cervical cancer vaccine

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Is there alot of research done on women over 40 and the useage? I am skeptical of this, as I go regularily for my check up, and smear, and I am not sure if it offers the same protection as a young girl.

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No, it wasn't researched for women over 26 actually, but they are currently researching another vaccine for women over 26, which will have another name (this one is Gardasil).

 

Edit: Cervarix is the one for women between 26 and 55.

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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.

HPV is not curable. The immune system cannot just "get rid of it" because it is intranuclear extrachromosomal DNA that replicates with the cell. At this point, it is believed that the best the immune system can do is suppress it or that it goes into a latency stage much like Herpes does.

There are many many types and the vaccine will only stop the most dangerous types, but not all.

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an aside question about Gynaecologists in Germany... I went and got a full check-up back in January, paid for it in February when the bill arrived. But nobody has contacted me since.

 

Is this normal for Germany? Do doctors get in touch only if there's something wrong, or am I supposed to chase them for results? Its not that I need them, they were all general screens etc. I know I should just phone them, but to be honest I've just been busy and didn't think about it until now - TT is the lazy person's solution to all life problems!

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By the way, according to http://www.krebsinformationsdienst.de the Gemeinsamer Bundesausschuss will decide on whether it will be included in the gesetzliche Krankenkassen program for women up to 26 by June 30th.

If it was included, I would definitely get it, until then I will wait.

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I am not sure if it offers the same protection as a young girl.

Your immune system works the same way no matter your age. You can get the immunization and then have a titer test done to check your response level. You can also have cervical cells tested now via PCR for virus specific DNA. The technology is there and standardized so use it to your advantage.

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Is this normal for Germany? Do doctors get in touch only if there's something wrong, or am I supposed to chase them for results? Its not that I need them, they were all general screens etc. I know I should just phone them, but to be honest I've just been busy and didn't think about it until now - TT is the lazy person's solution to all life problems!

Mine only contacts me if something is off about the results, so I have never been contacted by them either.

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well it also depends on your sexual behaviour whether you think it's necessary. no sex, no infection :ph34r: condoms do not protect 100%, but considerably reduce the risk.

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just have a shower after doing it, and you will be fine. it washes away once you do it quick enough.

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was it the strange encounters that occured after the moonshine, or the strange encounters that caused the moonshine drinking? :lol:

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Just to clarify -- tho this is a bit repetitive - the virus never leaves your body - 2/3 of sex.active adults have it, even if they haven't had an outbreak in years. I guess without an outbreak, it spreads less easily (kind of like herpes). The vaccine only works if you don't have it yet. And of the women who have HPV, no one knows which ones are at risk or not for cervical cancer, so ALL of them should be having pap smears twice a year.

 

Keep in mind also, however, that HPV isn't the worst thing you can get from unprotected sex - so until there's a vaccine for HIV, I'd go for the vaccine AND condoms.

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I think this is the vaccine the Australian government is offering for free for all women who are under 26 and who are out of high school, until the year 2009. Quite nice of the govt. i think

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Germany is not leading the way, and I will tell you why.

 

I went to 3 doctors to try and get vaccinated and 2 of them refused to give me a prescription. However, I am a male. In Germany, it is not common practice to give it to males. The doctors thought I was crazy, but they must not be brushing up on their continuing education credits.

 

For several years now, a few countries have offered the vaccination to males, and Australia and New Zealand even cover the expenses for vaccinating school boys now. The first time I heard about the vaccine was when I was in those 2 countries couple years ago. At the time I had thought about getting vaccinated, but the price turned me off. But now that I'm in Germany, the cost is double that. Here it costs about 500 EUR for the 3 shots and doctor's fees. There it costs between 250 and 300 EUR. I would have saved myself some money if I had done it sooner, and it probably would have been more effective for me as I was also younger.

 

Another issue was my education as an American. We didn't talked much about HPV in sex ed. It was more of a girl's disease. But now that I've caught up on my education, I know that out of the 200+ strains of HPV, about 40 of them can cause genital infections. Somewhere between 1/3 and 3/4 of sexually active adults are currently or was previously infected with a strain of genital HPV. While most of them are not harmful and are usually cleared naturally by the body's immune system, some of them do cause cancer. Although Gardasil immunizes against only 4 strains, 2 of them causes 90% of genital warts and the other 2 causes 70% of cervical cancer and other types of cancers that can affect men, especially throat cancer. The rise in cancer in men attributed to HPV, along with the low uptake by the female population was a factor in getting the vaccine later approved for use in males.

 

So, as for why the German doctors thought I was crazy for asking for the vaccination, or why they're not more open to the idea, I don't know. Their flat out refusal surprised me, even though I would have to pay for it myself.

 

I know there is a debate about the economics of the vaccine, but I think the rise in the quality of life, and the chance to avoid going through the treatment and shame of genital warts or the cancers attributed to the strains of HPV covered by the vaccine would be worth it.

 

At the moment in Europe, only Austria actively recommends and provides the vaccine to males. Several Eastern European countries in the EU don't even have an immunization program of the HPV vaccine, not even for girls, which is kind of a shock.

 

So, no, Germany and Europe in general are not leading the way in HPV vaccination. You'd have to look at Australia, New Zealand, and Canada.

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