Sunday, December 14, 2008

Abortion and Breast cancer

"Abortion does not cause breast cancer" states several news media articles and now, a new health site.

There is one problem with this - it's unproven. In the article I read on the health site, they did not specifically name their cites upon which they are wanting to risk YOUR life but they talked of an (unnamed) 2004 study which is likely the "Melbye study". In this study, Dr Melbye admitted that any woman who had had an abortion before computer records was likely listed as "not having abortion" since ONLY computer recorded abortions were noted in the study AS aborted women. One estimate puts the number of aborted women "overlooked" as 60,000! And these were, of course, the older women who were more likely to have breast cancer. If these 60,000 women were (correctly) recorded as HAVING HAD abortions, the Melbye Study would suggest a STRONGER link between breast cancer than some of the other 38 world wide studies which suggest a link.

Another study they may have used to "prove" that abortion does not cause breast cancer was the Beral study. This study not only used an inappropriate group for comparison (women who had never been pregnant who were known to have a higher risk for breast cancer) but omitted several studies which suggested a link including three of the study author's OWN studies! About this type of study, Angela Lanfranchi, M.D., F.A.C.S. wrote:

>>>>Studies that take data from many previous studies and reanalyze” them (or put them into a meta-analysis) need to have sound scientific reasons for excluding some published studies. Without valid exclusion and inclusion criteria, the results can be skewed and inaccurate because they may allow an author’s personal bias to consciously or subconsciously enter the selection process, thus corrupting the conclusion. Undoubtedly, this sort of bias is what has led some observers to call epidemiology a pseudoscience.<<<< (Ethics and Medicine, Vol 29, 11 November 2004)

Just another example of the media perpetuating bad science to the American people to support a billion dollar industry which does NOT care about your body.

More information:
Breast Cancer Faq

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Crestor reduces heart disease by 50 percent

The latest study on statin drugs boasts that the medication, Crestor, reduces heart attacks by 50 percent.

As several have pointed out, this study called "The Jupiter Study" was financed by the manufacturer of Crestor and in the FenPhen trials, Wyeth petitioned to not have to testify in court about their removal of negative results from the FenPhen studies because the removal of negative study results was "common practice" in the pharmaceutical field. Their petition was granted and this aspect was never saw the light in court.

Additionally, several (including Dr Mercola and Dr Linda Bacon, in "HEALTH AT EVERY SIZE") have cited studies which suggest that the corporation which finances a study is likely to find positive results FROM the study for THEIR product. In the post graduate class about de-coding studies, students were taught that the first step is to ask who is financing the study.

Supposedly according to Dr Mercola, in the group of 17,000 participants in the Jupiter study, less than 2 perent had a cardiovascular incident (these were generally healthy people with high C Reactive protein levels). That is, 2 percent in the control group and 1 percent in the Crestor group.

True that can be expressed as a 50 percent less chance of heart disease in those on Crestor but in reality the percentage is only 1 percent less which isn't exactly astounding.

It is enough to create a splashy headline though and sell lots of Crestor, even to people of normal cholesterol levels. (As if they are not selling enough already - I guess never too much in sales is the rule here). :)

But for a 1 percent less chance of heart attack is it really worth it to deal with the side effects of Crestor which include (according to Dr Mercola):

• Anemia
• Acidosis
• Frequent fevers
• Cataracts
• Muscle pain and weakness
• An increase in cancer risk

But many will rush out and ask their doctors for Crestor and the cha-ching of the money coming in, will be heard 'round the world. Another successful endeavor by the pharmaceuticals...

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Doctors knew the dangers of cigarettes in 1900?

Today I got quite a shock when someone sent me an article from a website about Lucy Page Gaston. Apparently she waged quite a battle against cigarette smoking, even almost managing to get it prohibited in Illinois in 1907. Wait a minute. 1907? But didn't we see the cover of the American Medical Association Journal (JAMA) in 1938, featuring a group of doctors, all smoking cigarettes and telling folks how healthy smoking was? And what about all the doctors in the 1950's who advocated this or that brand of cigarette in TV ads.

So how exactly DID Ms Gaston almost get smoking banned in 1907. Well, it seems that she was supported by quite a few doctors who had noticed that their patients who smoked had more respiratory disease and heart disease than those who did not smoke!

Another shocker. Gaston wasn't connecting smoking with what one may THINK it might be connected back in the dark ages of the 1900's i.e. immorality, lack of courtesy etc. Gaston was connecting smoking with what it now is KNOWN to be connected with as a DIRECT cause. i.e. heart disease and COPD!

Lung cancer, which had been virtually unknown, was formally recognized as a disease for the first time in 1923 and became widespread in the 1930s.

So if many doctors had joined Gaston's movement, where was the mainstream medical establishment? It seems they ignored the Gaston crowd saying there was "no evidence based research suggesting the risks of smoking". But why when so many doctors had observational evidence, weren't some studies started?

Perhaps it had something to do with the fact that the profits of the tobacco industry were an obscene 2.5 BILLION bucks at the turn of the 20th century. Can you imagine? When the average working man made $5-10 dollars a week for six 12 hour days of work?

Despite all of Gaston's efforts, annual cigarette sales in the United States had soared from 2.5 billion at the turn of the century to nearly 80 billion when she died. ... Cigarette consumption continued climbing, even after the U.S. Surgeon General issued a landmark report on its dangers in 1964.

The conclusion we must draw is sad. Seems the medical industry could be bought even 100 years ago and excluding the few lives that Lucy Gaston saved through her hard work, many people died (including my own father) partially, due to a medical industry which apparently may not have had the best interests of the people at heart.

Even now, if a slim person who smokes goes to the doctor, they may or may not be told that "perhaps they should consider cutting down their smoking" but if an obese person goes to the doctor, the first thing they typically hear is "LOSE WEIGHT OR DIE" even though to date there is neither observational NOR evidence based research DIRECTLY connecting obesity and disease (only lifestyle in folks of all weights and disease).
We know about the profit motive there. The diet industry in the USA profits a whopping 50 BILLION yearly.

We as consumers should know about the possibility that some things being sold to us (or not sold to us) by our medical providers may or may not be tainted by profit interests. The AMA itself has written a lot about pharmaceutical companies enticing providers with gifts, dinners, trips etc to prescribe certain medications and even some surgeries sold, may be influenced by the profit motive. We do know that most medical providers allow the pharmaceutical companies to educate them about the latest and greatest in medicine because their overburdened schedules often do not allow them to read the books which are not tainted by the need to sell certain procedures and medications.

What we didn't know is that even in the "good old days" the profit motive loomed ominously behind medical care (or lack thereof).

But Lucy Page Gaston, in her blunt manner, lives on, in cyberspace, warning us from the distinct past to always remember even WITH medicine "let the buyer beware".

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Poisoned tomatos?

One of the top news stories for the last few days has been the salmonella cases resulting from eating fresh tomatoes. Salmonella is what commonly causes food poisoning or what we call "the green apple two step". Only 40 cases of salmonella have been identified throughout the USA - which is an infinitesimal percentage of the millions who eat fresh tomatoes on a daily basis. And we are never told if the 17 who were hospitalized were elderly or already ill from other things but I suspect they were. Most of us get food poisoning regularly and it just means we have to stay close to a toilet, a good excuse to stay home from school or work and play GTA or other video games while we "recuperate". (Oh the pain)

I remember in my fast food days many years ago, saying that certain places had the word "Express" in their names not because of the rapidity with which one was served but rather the fact that the food seemed to "express" more quickly than desirable from the South end of my body.

That this article about a small percentage of folks getting food poisoning from tomatoes has been headline news for three days now, is only nice in that it gives us a break from the usual election fighting and emphasizing how many deaths there have been of Americans in Iraq (which are reported and stressed even if the deaths had nothing to do with the fighting). The fact remains that many people do not wash their veggies before eating and most of them do not get food poisoning from it.

Many restaurants do not bother to take the time to wash the fruit or veggies before serving so the bottom line of this little piece of news may be something we all know already - one takes a risk of food poisoning every time one eats fast food or restaurant food.

My answer to seeing the article for the umpteenth time was lighthearted. I pointed out that if folks ate chocolate instead of fresh veggies they would not face this danger. (Chocolate is a veggie, you knew that, right?)

However, that being said, I have heard that one should wash the veggies with soap... I have a concern about that as soap is a chemical and may leave a residue or worse yet, be absorbed in the veggie. They have a non soap substance you can use to wash veggies in but who knows how safe that is (they advertise it in infomercials... which isn't exactly the greatest source of the truth).

And washing even with soap, may or may not help the salmonella issue - the little buggers may be living INSIDE the tomato anyway.

There is pretty good evidence that we cannot digest fresh veggies as well as we can cooked veggies, and if one is going to cook them, one can wash them with water - that gets the soil off etc - and then the cooking takes care of the rest including any nasty bacteria which are hiding within.

As the recent study suggested, we lack the enzyme to break down the cell walls of plant material so cannot access many of the nutrients of uncooked veggies. I learned that in biology also.

Since salads are such a staple among the weight conscious (that's probably most of us whether we are fat or slim), saying things like fresh veggies may not be as nutritious as cooked veggies may be an unpopular statement. However, from what I have studied, it certainly might be something to consider.

With regards to fresh fruit, further study however, in researching about the ill effects of methanol in aspartame/Nutrasweet, revealed to me that at least some fruit allowed to remain on the bush for even a short amount of time, builds up methanol in the cell wall - this apparently dissolves in cooking the fruit but if the fruit is eaten raw and the passage through the small bowel is slowed down for any reason, it can ferment and release the raw methanol which then DOES get into the system. The biochemist who showed me the studies was making an argument for saying that there is just as much methanol in fruit as in Nutrasweet (he loved Nutrasweet and didn't want to give it up). Though I was never much of a fruit eater anyway, that revelation rather killed my desires completely for uncooked fruit....

That being said, although the excuse of diagnosing better is used for everything (as in the reason why there are 1 million new cases of cancer each year now, as opposed to 100 in the early 1900's), there may be some basis for a case of over diagnosis in the case of the bacteria laden tomatoes. Many of us can get food poisoning (which is basically what salmonella can cause) from anything and not notice it because it's self limiting... As in "oh I have food poisoning today and have to be close to the toilet but I'll be back to work or school tomorrow".

Our wily news media has discovered that if folks are scared, they tend to watch the news more carefully (and also listen to the commercials which is the main point of TV anyway). So it's good to keep that in mind when listening to the news - or perhaps, better yet, when deciding it might be time to turn off the news.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Even thin people get diabetes

An article carried on MSNBC (reprinted from the magazine "MensHealth") began with this promising headline.

Unfortunately, the headline of the article was probably the best and truest part. At least 33 percent of type II diabetics have never been fat in their lives.

But the article itself is typical from what can be expected from "MensHealth" magazine - MensHealth is a real pop science mag and not an accurate source at all. We KNOW that MSNBC would LIKELY NOT print a REALLY informative article about anything regarding obesity or diabetes and in that way, this article did not disappoint.

Most people will NOT slog through the verbiage which is very extensive ... I slogged through about 3/4 of it and then, decided the rest was more of the same.

The picture most people will take away with them from reading a couple of paragraphs, however, is the gaunt emaciated father (whom the author carefully avoids directly SAYING has diabetes by the way, so he may not even have the disease) who is in a nursing home and obviously suffering from Alzheimers. Well, news flash...Alzheimers is not only NOT related to diabetes (it's a gene also) but it's one of those diseases which fat people seldom get for some reason.... My FIL, a thin man who had diabetes and lost his legs to the illness, was intelligent and sharp up to the day he died just short of his 70th birthday. And my hubby's cousin is the same age as the author's gaunt father, has diabetes, takes medication and has a BMI which is in the high 50's or even the 60's - she travels all over the place, goes on cruises and doesn't even particularly adher to avoiding the sweets she's always liked. And she certainly is NOT senile in any way - she still lives on her own, having out lived her slim, health minded husband by several years, by the way.

Most people will just read the first couple of paragraphs and take with them the frightening picture of the senile father with Alzheimer's which the author has now connected with diabetes. But the media has that covered - most will scan the sub-headlines and get the message they want to convey anyway. One of these, is suggesting "low carb diet" for diabetes. But in reality that the reason even the ADA has NOT embraced low carb diets for diabetes is because there is NO PROOF that these diets are of ANY benefit to reducing sugar levels. It seems logical but people forget that EVERYTHING ends up glucose for energy. And I've seen my hubby, GG, a diabetic diagnosed 15 years ago, eat an all carb dinner and have a high reading in the morning and then the next night eat totally not only carb but fats and simple carbs and sugar and then have a low reading the following morning.

Diabetes sugar levels do apparently not rely on what you eat. They MAY rely on HOW MUCH you eat but the jury is still out on that one also. However there is certainly more observational evidence that eating less can bring down sugar levels but some of the slimmest diabetics have very high sugar levels so who really knows?

I have a friend who BELIEVEEEESSSS in the low carb way... she is an apostle for low carb eating. But her husband on much more metformin than GG even though HER husband is newly diagnosed, and who eats faithfully low carb, has sugar levels which range in the 300's (morning reading). She is not deterred however. Low carb dieting has not been kind of her figure either - she's got a high BMI even with never touching sugar and seems unable to lose the weight which has bugged her for decades. (We know she IS upset about her weight because she had weight loss surgery which was a health disaster for her, many years ago)

The article has a short blurb about exercise and this is about its only saving grace however, in the length of it, I bet most folks will have missed the paragraph about exercise so here it is for your convenience:

*** Just how powerful an antidote is exercise? A study published recently in the American Journal of Physiology — Endocrinology and Metabolism revealed that insulin resistance in rats decreased more from exercise than from taking metformin, the leading diabetes drug.***

That's it... pretty slim for what probably is the ONLY thing they know of to help control sugar levels besides medication. And by the way, they have a lot more than RAT studies suggesting the benefits of exercise for everyone and specifically for diabetics (i.e. intentional cardio).

More inaccuracies of the article? Diabetes is NOT the fastest growing disease. In fact, levels have DECREASED slightly in the last decade or so. How they are proclaiming that the incidence of diabetes has increased, may be because they are now counting everyone with a slightly elevated sugar level as in the realm of diabetic. Also they count women with gestational diabetes however, it has been observed that only about 50 percent of those with gestational diabetes actually come down with the illness. Often fat people even those with normal sugar levels are counted among the "pre diabetics".

The statement about diabetes greatly rising in incidence among children is erroneous also. People are BORN with insulin resistance - what is rising in incidence is our ability to DIAGNOSE insulin resistance in kids - something we were not able to do a couple of decades ago. But are we using this to get ALL KIDS to exercise or re-instituting P.E. on a daily basis in the schools? NOPE! It's just used as a scare tactic to sell diets and diet foods and impose diets on our children in their most vulnerable years.

What IS scary is not the "shockers" this article promises but rather than there is so much misinformation floating around about diabetes, it's frightening. Few doctors REQUIRE exercise of diabetics even though that's the only thing which has been shown to help.

Luckily we have medications which are excellent like metformin and do not have to rely on the "pancreas" burners like our parents were stuck with.

Many diabetics die of heart disease (which the media is quick to blame on the disease thus forgetting that heart disease in general IS the leading cause of death of ALL Americans not only diabetics!). And the greatest help in preventing or healing heart disease... The big "E" word, exercise.

Only 25 percent of Americans exercise cardio (which is what strengthens your heart) 3 times a week. Only 5 percent of Americans do daily cardio which is really what you need.

That (and not this inane article) is sobering and scary. Have YOU done your cardio today?

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Vaccines - how urgently do we need them?

As people who know me, know, I am very against hard advertising of medical procedures and drugs to the public. As for vaccines, I don't know HOW I feel about them. I'm not totally against them but I feel perhaps, they are overused in our society and have become a cash cow.

Gardasil the so called HPV vaccine is being more heavily (and emotionally) advertised than many other drugs and I ask myself - why does the pharmaceutical company feel it has to spend this type of money on advertising this vaccine.

Perhaps because the side effects of the vaccine are a bit much for many people? Apparently the CDC has received thousands of complaints and some of them are serious things like serious illness and death.

Also according the ads, gardasil does NOT cover all the viruses causing HPV. According to one article I read, it only covers FOUR of the 100 some HPV viruses. That doesn't seem very many.

But another niggling doubt I have, is this business of "blaming" unvaccinated kids for the outbreaks of things like measles, AMONG vaccinated kids. We would think that if a kid was vaccinated, they would be IMMUNE to the viruses, right? I mean isn't that the idea of vaccination in the first place?

The only "excuse" I've heard is "well vaccines aren't 100 percent effective".

Well duh. If they have a measles outbreak among vaccinated kids, it seems they are a lot LESS than 100 percent effective. It seems they are not very effective at all.

This year's flu vaccine covered apparently none of the flu's going around. "OOPS" said the manufacturers.

But I've seen that the flu vaccine only seems to cover the prevailent flu about once in every 10 years. I experienced that myself when as a good girl, following my doctor's advice when I was pregnant, I took the flu vaccine that year. I still got the flu which was going around. I decided forget that vaccine and have never taken it again. So when the swine flu vaccine came around which was supposed to "protect us" from the threatened "pandemic", I skipped taking that one too. Good thing, because 40 percent of those who took it, got a serious complication from it, much worse than the flu it was supposed to protect against, like Guillan Barre or "French Polio". And the threatened pandemic like so many of the other "media crisis" never arrived.

So again, why take it especially when it's one of the vaccines that still contains mercury as a preservative?

And really I would like to hear more about how "not completely effective" these vaccines are because today's new born baby has received a bunch of vaccinations before he or she is even 3 months old. And some studies (which the pharmaceuticals have tried to discount) have found a connection between some vaccines like the MMR and autism.

Maybe there are good reasons to take vaccines but it seems that no one is talking to us - except the anti vaccine folks who have come up with some rather good reasons to say "no" to many vaccines.

And to those questioning like myself, seems that the pro vaccine folks ought to be able to answer some of my questions and doubts about vaccines if vaccines are REALLY as great as these folks are claiming.

I do remember when the Salk vaccine came out. We were shown photos of kids from the 1940's in the "iron lung" wards and sufficiently scared about polio. We were never told that modern sanitation and good medical care is all that is needed in most cases to prevent disability.

We knew a post polio guy who was a quadriplegic. One of his Dad's favorite tricks was to stick his head in the toilet where there was usually urine (Mom didn't flush the toilet after going most times). The house they lived in was more than filthy and he surely, an unwanted kid, didn't get much medical care when he GOT the disease.

But frankly I didn't know any kids in any school I went to who got polio. And my mother wisely kept us out of park swimming pools because in the 1950's they didn't know that chlorine didn't work if the water was not of an acid PH.

We just accepted that it was a "grave danger" based on the photos from the 1940's and early 1950's of the "iron lung" wards.

Later on, the Sabin vaccine came out. Our son had that but I had my doubts about it. We knew it caused a certain percentage of cases of polio because it was a "live virus" vaccine. And in the last decade, the Sabin vaccine (taken by mouth) has all but disappeared - why? Because they realized that most of the cases of polio they were seeing in the 1st world were CAUSED by the vaccine.

I do know that if a person wants to keep immune using the vaccine "system" they have to get the full compliment of vaccines every 2 years. And of course, that's something even the pharmaceuticals with heavy duty emotionally based advertising couldn't push down our throats.

But since vaccines have prevented some of us from HAVING those childhood diseases like measles and mumps and German measles which gave us a lifetime immunity, I think many folks are walking around and NOT immune to these diseases (because they are not getting vaccinated every 2 years to keep up their immunity) but in our modern sanitized society, it apparently isn't that much of a danger.

Great sell for the manufacturers, isn't it? Did anyone do the math about the profits on vaccinating babies (breast fed babies are immune and don't need vaccination because the mother's anti bodies are passed through breast milk) and lining up our kids for one time vaccinations? I suspect it even makes the diet industry profits pale by comparison.

Don't get me wrong. I am not against vaccines, but I think if they are so important as the media seems to feel, why can't those folks answer some of my questions better than "well, it's better than nothing" or "well vaccines aren't 100 percent effective". I think if they want us to take these jabs, they should give us better information than that? Unreasonable of me? So bite me! :)

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Why was the diabetes study ACCORD halted?

Halting a major study is not something done quickly because it can mean a drastic loss of money for those funding the study. But recently a huge study (named ACCORD) on aggressively treating diabetes by greatly lowering the blood sugar levels, greatly lowering the cholesterol and trigycerides and also blood pressure was halted.

The news stories were indefinite about why the study was halted and what WERE those treatments which proved to be too risky. I decided to research it.

First, I found that ACCORD has a website although nothing on there about halting the study!

I was curious about the treatments which turned out to be MORE dangerous than the standard treatment. From the protocol PDF, I found:

For blood sugar control: control group: metformin, and for the experimental group: glipozide and injected insulin (as an aggressive way to greatly lower A1C)

Lowering cholesterol and trigycerides: for the experimental group: higher doses of Zocor combined with fenofibrate (Tricor) and they did express some concern about the "adverse events" going in:

Because 40 mg of simvastatin may increase the risk for adverse events, particularly in the patients receiving fenofibrate, participants will be followed closely and CPK regularly measured.

The control group was just given Zocor. The experimental part was mixing Tricor with higher doses of Zocor. From websites on Tricor, I found the following general warnings:

Before taking fenofibrate, tell your doctor if you have
· liver disease,
· biliary cirrhosis,
· kidney disease,
· gallbladder disease,
· hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid gland), or
· diabetes.

Fenofibrate apparently interacts adversely with the statin drugs and therein one suspects, lay one problem of this study:

Before taking fenofibrate, tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following medicines:
· an anticoagulant (blood thinner) such as warfarin (Coumadin);
· cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune);
· lovastatin (Mevacor), simvastatin (Zocor), pravastatin (Pravachol), fluvastatin (Lescol), atorvastatin (Lipitor), or cerivastatin (Baycol); or
· cholestyramine (Questran) or colestipol (Colestid).
• You may not be able to take fenofibrate, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment if you are taking any of the drugs listed above.
• Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with fenofibrate. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines.

On another website, there are extensive lists of medications which can interact adversely with Tricor.

According to the ACCORD website, ACCORD was heavily funded by pharmaceuticals:

Abbott Laboratories (and Fournier Laboratories)
AstraZeneca LP
Aventis Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals
King Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
MediSense Products (Division of Abbott Laboratories)
Merck & Company, Inc.
NetGroup Diabetic Services
Novartis Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Novo Nordisk Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Omron Healthcare, Inc.
According to one blog, the intensive treatment group (the experimental group) had more deaths than the controls:

The ACCORD (Action to Control Cardiovascular Risk in Diabetes) study enrolled 10,251 participants. Of these, 257 in the intensive treatment group have died, compared with 203 within the standard treatment group.

The researchers stated they did not know why they had a higher death toll in the "intensive treatment" group.

The interesting thing about this is that if you read the protocol PDF, on paper, their ideas seemed well based in former studies and logic. And yet, in reality that wasn't the case at all.

My suspicions are it had something to do with mixing the statin (zocor) with fenofibrate since on the fenofibrate website, that's in the warnings as a definite "no no".

The fact that the news stories about the study were so indefinite about the nature of the treatments, intrigued me enough to research it further...

Mystery kind of solved.

Monday, January 7, 2008

the only way to prevent cervical cancer?

About a year ago, someone (or someones) came up with the bright idea that they should force all 12 year old girls to have a vaccination against HPV. Well, actually we know who the someones were. The manufacturer which to date has made millions of bucks with this new vaccine, Gardasil.

Merck, has spent millions of dollars promoting this vaccine, using one of their best weapons, TV ads. Healthy slim smiling young ladies are shown in a PE class (in one of the ads) saying how happy they were to be "protected" against cervical cancer. In the background, one hears the necessary disclaimers "this vaccine does not protect against all types of cervical cancer nor does it prevent STD". But how many listen to the background disclaimers anyway?

The American College of Pediatricians came out with a statement against the forced vaccination of 12 year old girls with the HPV vaccine as a requirement to attend school in 2007. They brought up the following points:

1. the vaccine is tested but long term immunity is not known yet. The College suggests establishing data banks to trace how effective the vaccine is, on the long term. As the college stated "waning protection is an issue with almost every vaccine"

2. parents rights should be respected as to whether they want their girls to receive the vaccine or not. It may not be appropriate for MOST young girls unless it is known that they are very sexually active and having unprotected sex. Receiving the vaccine should be totally voluntary on the part of the individual, states the ACP and medical providers should inform parents that the ONLY TOTAL protection from infection is abstinence.

3. AT LEAST (that they know of) 30 percent of HPV is caused by strains NOT covered in the vaccine

4. the trials were only 2-4 years long - but the average time from infection with HPV to cervical cancer is 20 years (probably why some experts have opined that the vaccine may not be needed because pap smears identify atypical cells long before the person is in danger of cervical cancer and it can be treated at that time)

5. Basically the position of the ACP is that there are far too many questions yet to be answered about this vaccine, that cervical cancer can be prevented through regular pap smears and treatment of HPV long before there is a danger of cervical cancer and that parents rights and the right of the individual to make the decision whether or not to get the vaccine, should be respected.

It should be noted that in the double blind trials with the HPV vaccine, individuals in the vaccinated cohort showed 16.5 percent fewer procedures for cervical problems involving HPV and 25 percent fewer genital warts.... this is not exactly total protection considering that this vaccine can cause some rather serious repercussions like Guillian Barre' etc. We should also remember that these trials were run by the manufacturer of the vaccine - and in the Phen Fen trials, Ayrest-Wyeth admitted that removing negative results was "common practice in the pharmaceutical industry thus the less than impressive results from the Merck trials might have been "sanitized"....

The Chicago Sun Times also ran an OP-Ed against forced vaccination - their reasons were simple - parents should have the final say. The Sun Times pointed out that the jabs were expensive (about $120 bucks a piece) and that a series might consist of 3 of them.

Recently another news article described the vaccine injection as a big "OUCH" for many girls (some have fainted or gotten other reactions).

In this, as in all vaccines, parents should proceed with caution especially as the long term repercussions of the vaccine itself are not known (and many vaccines concern a type of mercury used for preservative, that some studies have suggested can raise the risk for certain disorders like Parkinson's). Also, most vaccines are only good for a couple of years and boosters are needed regularly to continue protection.

There is a much simpler way to protect our teens against HPV. This also protects teens against HIV, and STD as well as broken relationships. What is this magic bullet? Abstinence outside of marriage. The argument is, of course, that teens cannot abstain. I think this is underestimating our teens. I have yet to meet the teen who doesn't WANT to abstain after they really learn the repercussions of NOT abstaining. As the Gardasil vaccine has an "OUCH" factor and unknown protection and/or repercussions, shall we give teaching our teens about abstinence, a good try before allowing our daughters the Gardasil injection?