The FDA has recently expanded its approved use of the vaccine Gardasil to now be used in the prevention of some kinds of anal cancer. For more information on this new health development and what this may mean for you, keep on reading after the jump.
The human papillomavirus, better known as HPV, has been shown to be a leading cause of cervical cancer in women. The vaccine Gardasil has been approved to protect girls against contracting the virus, and thus the possibility of preventing the cancer. But now the FDA is saying that Gardasil may help prevent against more than just cervical cancer.
Anal cancer is also caused by HPV, and the FDA has expanded the approved use of the vaccination to hel protect against this as well. This may mean that the popularity of the vaccination and the number you young people receiving the vaccination may increase, but that is yet to be seen.
Though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that young women receive the vaccine,, only 37% of teen girls have received one shot of the 3-dose vaccine, with only 18% having all three since it became available in 2006. Even fewer boys have received the vaccine since it became approved for male HPV prevention last year.
Many parents and health advocacy groups have warned against the vaccine because it is technically preventing a sexually transmitted disease, some girls have reported experiencing severe side effects, and because cervical cancer can be detected early through Pap smears and treated while it is still precancerous. However, FDA health experts feel the vaccine could be particularly helpful in the prevention of anal cancer, because it can be much harder to detect, making it more likely to become life threatening. It is estimated that 90% of all anal cancer cases are caused by HPV.
The issue of anal cancer has been in the news in recent years after actress and model Farrah Fawcett passed away following a long battle with the disease.
What do you guys think of Gardasil being approved for the prevention of anal cancer? Do you think the fact that it is a vaccination for a sexually transmitted disease makes it inappropriate to give to teens and young adults? Let us know by leaving us some comments, and check out this video about anal cancer below.