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Anal Cancer Prevention Vaccine Approved

By Expert HERWriter Guide Blogger
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The human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted virus in the U.S. It carries a risk of cervical, vulvar, vaginal and other cancers. Less commonly recognized is that HPV is associated with nine out of ten - 90 percent - of anal cancer cases, or that more women than men are diagnosed with this cancer. Now both women and men have a new prevention tool.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the use of the vaccine Gardasil, made by Merck, to include prevention of anal cancer and associated precancerous lesions. The approval covers people aged nine to 26. The vaccine was previously approved for the same age group to prevent cervical, vulvar and vaginal cancers in females, and for genital warts among both sexes.

One of the most well known anal cancer patients was actress Farrah Fawcett, who died in 2009. The disease is considered rare, but is on the rise. In 2010 it is estimated there will be about 5,300 new cases and about 700 deaths. Risk factors, in addition to HPV, include being over age 50, having many sexual partners, having anal sex and smoking, according to the National Cancer Institute.

“Treatment for anal cancer is challenging; the use of Gardasil as a method of prevention is important as it may result in fewer diagnoses and the subsequent surgery, radiation or chemotherapy that individuals need to endure,” said Karen Midthun, M.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research.

HPV vaccines cannot prevent cancer in women or men who are already infected with the strains of HPV included in the vaccines. The vaccine is most commonly given to girls and boys before they become sexually active.

According to the FDA, more than 65 million doses of Gardasil have been distributed worldwide since its approval in 2006. The most commonly reported adverse events include fainting, pain at the injection site, headache, nausea, and fever.

More information:

HPV Information: http://www.cdc.gov/hpv/

Anal cancer resource page: https://www.empowher.com/media/reference/anal-cancer

Shedding Light on Anal Cancer: https://www.empowher.com/cancer/content/shedding-light-anal-cancer

Farah’s Story: Anal Cancer and HPV: https://www.empowher.com/community/share/farrahs-story-anal-cancer-and-hpv

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The U.S. Food and drug administration ruled in 2006 that Gardasil was acceptable to use in treating cervical cancer. Implementation fomented a yeast of debate, as some states made vaccinations required for girls as young as 9. Throw in numerous odd deaths some experts directly linked to the use of Gardasil and the FDA's decision was placed under scrutiny. However that hasn't stopped the Food and Drug Administration from giving Gardasil the green light for treatment of anal cancer, writes Cable News Network. Now men can get into the act.

December 30, 2010 - 9:33pm
EmpowHER Guest

Gardasil: Merck presents more flawed data - FDA grants extended use
The FDA continues to spark controversy over Merck's Gardasil vaccine, as they ignore scientific principles to grant approval for extended use as a preventative for anal cancer and anal intraepithelial neoplasm. The SaneVax Team wants to know why.

December 29, 2010 - 5:41pm
EmpowHER Guest

My 12 year old daughter was disabled by Gardasil and lost an entire year of her life. The vaccine cost my family tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills.

The CDC and FDA need to do their job and get this vaccine off the market.

A good resource is http://www.sanevax.org/. Go there and read the injury and memorial pages of victims who have been affected by Gardasil.

Please INVESTIGATE BEFORE YOU VACCINATE. My daughter was a completely healthy child who received all her vaccines prior to Gardasil. This is the only vaccine that has ever had an adverse effect on her.

Please don't let this happen to your child.

December 29, 2010 - 12:17pm
EmpowHER Guest

S.A.N.E Vax Objects to FDA Ruling Gardasil Use for Anal Cancer for 9 to 26 year olds - Increasing Number of Consumers are Concerned over HPV Vaccine Safety. When will the FDA and the CDC take the initiative to investigate the side effects of the HPV Vaccines?

December 29, 2010 - 9:01am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.