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To Gardasil or not to Gardasil

(15 Posts)
hazlinh Wed 08-Dec-10 08:36:38

Have been reluctant to take the Gardasil vaccination to prevent cervical cancer due to the previous news reports about a few deaths and serious illnesses that may or may not be linked to the jab.

But a friend of a friend of mine has just been diagnosed with cervical cancer at age 32, and am now wondering if I should rethink this.

Has anyone gotten the jab? Does anyone know if there are any real risks associated?

Am also a bit hesitant to take it as apparently it's not known how long it will remain effective for. Maybe only up to 4-6 years?? And that further studies need to be done on this!!

Cancer is also a huge concern in my household, as my dd has leukaemia, and we have tried to implement a lot of changes in the way we live and eat.

kreecherlivesupstairs Wed 08-Dec-10 09:04:08

I thought and I may be wrong, that it is given to younger girls. Those who have not had children.
My DD will certainly be getting it.
Have you been offered it?

hazlinh Wed 08-Dec-10 10:11:47

yes, they give them in schools, right?

but it seems they give it to women too, my friend was offered it by her gp friend, and my gynae advised me to consider it last week when i did my pap smear. i asked if she herself had taken it and she said it's not effective for women over 45 confused

Whitenapteen Wed 08-Dec-10 10:17:30

My DD has had the series of injections. The explanatory information says it is effective if received prior to first potential exposure to the virus through first sexual intercourse.

Appletrees Wed 08-Dec-10 10:23:41

I wouldn't do it, but I don't know what to say because of your daughter's illness.

Yes it's supposed to be before sex but no one knows how long it lasts.

hazlinh Wed 08-Dec-10 10:25:14

Whitenapteen, really? So it's not effective at all if given after one has had sexual intercourse??

bumpybecky Wed 08-Dec-10 10:26:18

dd1 has had the first two injections in school (there's then a gap before number 3). The nurse told us that it was known to be effective for 6 years, but it's not been around longer, so they can't tell if it lasts longer IYSWIM.

She also said that it's most effective before you have sex for the first time. I didn't think they offered it to older women

Appletrees Wed 08-Dec-10 10:27:00

Aren;t regular smears supposed to be better for sexually acctive women?

hazlinh Wed 08-Dec-10 10:47:25

Hmm yes that's the thing Appletrees, they don't know if it lasts for for more than 6 yrs. I think they were saying that it helps to avoid more abnormal smear results? Ooh I don't know really. Am most confused.

Thanks bumpybecky. So I suppose the consensus is that most girls in school will have them done. Whilst older women not so much?

bumpybecky Wed 08-Dec-10 10:54:05

NHS pages

at the parents Q&A session one of the other parents asked the nurse if she'd had the vaccination herself and she said it was only given to girls / young women not adults. I have read an American site where several posters in their 20s and 30s had had the jab, so it might be possible but not on the NHS.

Given your family history, maybe a chat with your GP or practise nurse might be worthwhile?

bubbleymummy Wed 08-Dec-10 11:00:39

I think regular smears are more important - that is how the cancer/pre-cancerous cells will be detected and the vaccine doesn't replace these smears. I think it just introduces more unknowns and doesn't really offer much in return ie. You don't know if it's worked (vaccines aren't 100% effective), it doesn't protect against all the hpv strains, it lasts for an undetermined amount of time and it isn't as effective in sexually active people. I don't really see the point tbh!

ragged Wed 08-Dec-10 11:05:01

There's little benefit in giving it to older women unless they have been sexually abstinent all their lives up until then. So it's not routinely offered to women past the age when they become sexually active.

I will be glad for DD to get it when she's older. None of the scare stories add up when I look closely. Most vaccines we could say that we know that they only last X years because they've only been around that long. I'll take X years of protection over Zero years of protection.

hazlinh Wed 08-Dec-10 12:08:01

tks bumpybecky, yes, will have to have a chat with my dr, i think!

mmm yes when you put it that way, i do wonder bubbleymummy

thanks ragged...yes i was wondering if the scare stories were blown out of proportion, but then again, you never know...

Appletrees Wed 08-Dec-10 16:52:42

Six years can't be much more than a shot in the dark, tbh.

saggarmakersbottomknocker Wed 08-Dec-10 18:58:37

The vax given in schools to younget women is Cervarix not Gardasil.

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