Treatment Without Borders
If doctors can successfully treat a potentially fatal infection in the outback of India, they can surely treat it in Phoenix, Des Moines, Providence…just about anywhere.
And if they can treat this infection just about anywhere, then it’s time to stop all this nonsense about the need for the dangerous HPV vaccine.
Test now – treat now
This is huge.
A research team led by France’s International Agency for Research on Cancer recruited more than 130,000 middle-aged women in rural India.
The women were screened for HPV infection or given standard care, defined as education about HPV and recommendation for screening.
Results: Deaths in the standard care group were nearly TWICE AS HIGH as the number of deaths in the HPV-screening group when treatment for lesions was immediately given, when possible. These on-the-spot treatment options included cryotherapy (cold treatment), loop electrosurgical excision procedure (in which radio frequency current is used to remove lesions), and conization (a biopsy procedure that can be used for immediate treatment – and the one that my doctor used when I was diagnosed).
Bottom line: Test for HPV, then immediately treat HPV, and cervical cancer rates could be cut in half.
“The implications of the findings of this trial are immediate and global: international experts in cervical-cancer prevention should now adapt HPV testing for widespread implementation.”
Couldn’t have said it better myself.
That quote comes from an editorial that accompanied the Indian study, both of which appeared in a recent issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
The authors of the editorial actually support the use of Gardasil. Nevertheless, they offer this surprising (and less than glowing) commentary: “Even when HPV vaccines are affordable and widely used, they will not substantially decrease rates of cervical cancer for decades because of the long latency between infection and cancer. As the Indian trial shows, screening for HPV can lower the rate of death from cervical cancer within 5 to 10 years.”
Unfortunately, the authors don’t note the fact that IF Gardasil becomes widely used, there’s no guarantee that cervical cancer rates will “substantially decrease.”
Meanwhile, HPV screening and treatment works. It saves lives without putting lives at risk.
More than 30 deaths have already been linked to Gardasil use.
This might be the perfect textbook example of a no-brainer.
April happens to be STD Awareness Month, which makes this a perfect time to get the word out about the reality of HPV and cervical cancer prevention.
Please forward this e-Alert to friends and family members who have young daughters – the prime targets for Gardasil marketing.
“HPV Screening for Cervical Cancer in Rural India” New England Journal of Medicine, Vol. 360, No. 14, 4/2/09, content.nejm.org
“From India to the World – A Better Way to Prevent Cervical Cancer” Mark Schiffman, M.D., M.P.H., and Sholom Wacholder, Ph.D., New England Journal of Medicine, Vol. 360, No. 14, 4/2/09, content.nejm.org