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Gardasil the new hope for vaginal cancer

There seems to be hope for women from 9 to 26 if they are suffering from certain cancers of the Vulva and Vagina. FDA announced that Gardasil might be more effective in curing the dreaded disease. It has already been approved to treat cervical cancer. FDA initially gave the go ahead to Gardasil in 2006. It was approved for cervical cancer, pre cancerous genital lesions, and genital warts. The CDC recommends it for girls from age 9 onwards. It is best administered before a woman becomes sexually active as it can be sexually transmitted. The HPV virus has more than 100 strains out of which 30 are likely to be spread sexually. If they miss the vaccination at 13 it can be taken up to the age of 29. Gardasil is however not recommended for men.

“There is now strong evidence showing that this vaccine can help prevent vulvar and vaginal cancers due to the same viruses for which it also helps protect against cervical cancer,” says Jesse L. Goodman, who is the MD, MPH, and director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research. Out of the four strains, which cause cervical cancer, papillomavirus (HPV) there are two which can cause the cancer of the vulva and a vagina.

Goodman says that “While vulvar and vaginal cancers are rare, the opportunity to help prevent them is potentially an important additional benefit from immunization HPV,”CDC claims that in US the HPV is the most commonly sexually transmitted disease. Around 6 million US citizens are infected with this every year.
Gardasil has been proved effective but there is a word of caution by FDA it says “To receive Gardasil’s full potential for benefit, it is important to be vaccinated prior to becoming infected with the HPV strains contained in the vaccine”

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