by Tracee Sioux
About a year ago I took a stance that all girls should have access to the HPV (human papillomavirus virus) in my article HPV Vaccine, Right of All Girls To Health.
While I stand by my original logic, I've come across two bits of information that have me reconsidering the benefits of such a vaccine.
Did you see Christiane Northrup, the OB/GYN author of Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom: Creating Physical and Emotional Health and Healing on Oprah?
Northrup expressed that no one has conclusively proven that cervical cancer is caused by HPV, the virus that causes venereal warts.
From the interview, which can be found on Oprah.com.
"That vaccine is of great interest to me because there are over 100 different HPV types and this vaccine only targets four of them, and although they are associated with cervical cancer, nobody has ever proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that HPV is the cause of cervical cancer, Northrup said.
Dr. Northrup says only 3,500 women a year die of cervical cancer. "And the number decreases every year, so we're doing very well with Pap smears and other screening tests. So you should keep having those," she said.
But Dr. Northrup has some apprehension about the vaccine itself. "I'm very concerned about vaccinating girls 9 and over, every single one of them, with two vaccines," she says. "And I'm a little against my own profession. My own profession feels that everyone should be vaccinated."
Dr. Northrup would rather see the attention HPV is receiving directed elsewhere. "You see HPV associated with abnormal Pap smears in women who are on immunosuppressant drugs who have had kidney transplants or who have HIV disease. So it seems that that virus is associated with cancer in those whose immune system is already depressed, you see. So it's like a marker for a depressed immune system. Where I'd put my money is getting everybody on a dietary program that would enhance their immunity, and then they would be able to resist that sort of thing."
The other issue that got me thinking is the research I recently did on Precocious Puberty.
Something is amiss when an entire generation of girls are maturing earlier than all the generations of women before them. We don't know if early maturation is going to effect our girls post-puberty, into pregnancy, lactation and menopause.
Perhaps until we discover what factor, whether hormonal, social, environmental or chemical, is causing girls to develop early, we should add as few unknown substances to their little bodies as possible.