Monday, May 21, 2007

Too much, too soon?

Looks like states are backing away from making the cervical cancer vaccination mandatory. From the article:

Combine national wariness with a vaccine that costs more than any other in U.S. history; skimpy or non-existent insurance payments to doctors; and concern from social conservatives that a vaccine to prevent a sexually transmitted disease might promote promiscuity, and efforts to mandate the HPV vaccine ended up on the legislative back burner.

On top of all that, while cervical cancer remains a serious disease, it is not a public health crisis in the United States.
However, the article makes an important point:

Last week, a newly published study linked the HPV virus to certain types of throat cancer among people infected through oral sex. The incidence of oral cancer has not dropped in the United States, despite a decline in the major risk factor, smoking, leading researchers to suspect that HPV might be a culprit.
Given the reported popularity of oral sex among teens (Centers for Disease Control), there may be a public health crisis brewing; I offer that research on the etiology of these types of throat cancer is needed quickly. Click here to read the article.

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