Our Bodies, Our Blog

HPV Vaccine is for Prevention, not Treatment

By Rachel Walden |

Guest blogger Rachel Walden of Women’s Health News is posting here this week, while Christine is on vacation.

A new study released in the current issue of JAMA: Journal of the American Medical Association looked at whether the new HPV vaccine (in this case Cervarix, a competitor to Gardasil) could help clear the infection in women who already had it, and found that the vaccine is not effective as treatment.

This really should come as no big surprise – vaccines in … Read

Double Dose: Tobacco as a Cancer Vaccine, Family Leave Values, and What Should the Criminal Penalty Be For a Woman Who Has an Abortion?

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

Using Tobacco to Prevent Cancer: Kentucky researchers are looking to the tobacco plant to develop a low-cost vaccine against the virus that causes cervical cancer. “The tobacco-based vaccine still in the works would cost an estimated $3 for three doses, compared with $360 for three doses of Gardasil. This would make it affordable for developing countries like India, where the disease is the most common malignancy among women,” writes Laura Ungar at the Courier-Journal.

Family Leave Values: There’s a fantastic article in The New … Read

Double Dose: Breast Cancer and the Environment, Boosting the G-Spot and Rep. Dingell Tells It Like It Is

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

Common Chemicals Are Linked to Breast Cancer: From the LA Times: “Read than 200 chemicals — many found in urban air and everyday consumer products — cause breast cancer in animal tests, according to a compilation of scientific reports” published in the journal Cancer. The reports are based on research that also led to the creation of a database on cancer-causing chemicals and breast cancer studies. The database is available for free at http://sciencereview.silentspring.org.

Gay Youths Find Place to Call Home: Ruth’s House in … Read

Merck’s HPV Vaccine: A Mandatory Lesson Learned

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

What a week it’s been for advocates — and critics — of the HPV vaccine.

Acknowledging that its lobbying efforts have only hurt its cause, Merck this week announced it would stop campaigning to get states to mandate the use of its new vaccine against the human papillomavirus, which can cause cervical cancer. But the announcement did little to quash debate surrounding Merck’s influence and the general safety of the vaccine.

On Thursday, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who already signed an executive order … Read

Saturday Double Dose: Disappearing Models, Time-Shifting Bodies and Dungeon-Like Spaces

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

Apologies for serving the double dose a day late. Let’s get started:

The “Changing Bodies of Hollywood”?: In a story on full-figured women winning Screen Actors Guild Awards, Robert Thompson, director of the Bleier Center for Television and Popular Culture at Syracuse University, said, “The demographic of people who don’t look like Calista Flockhart is significantly larger than people who do. That demographic — in the age of democratization of the media with the Internet and reality — wants to be represented.”

But Over on … Read

Friday Double Dose: Nancy Pelosi, Tammy Duckworth, Bella v. Betty and Read

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

Before Rep. Nancy Pelosi was the Voice of the Majority, she was the Pride of Baltiread.

College-Age Women Should Get the HPV Vaccine: Apparently there’s been some confusion over who is eligible for the HPV vaccine Gardasil, which vaccinates against the cervical cancer-causing strains of human papillomavirus responsible for 70 percent of all cervical cancer cases. The vaccine is encouraged for women between the ages of 18 and 26, despite early promotion about it being best for girls under the age of … Read

State Support for Cervical Cancer Vaccine

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

Kudos to Michigan legislators. According to the Detroit News, a bill introduced Tuesday in the Michigan Senate by Sen. Beverly Hammerstrom, R-Temperance, would require all girls entering the sixth grade to be vaccinated against cervical cancer.

“Recent studies have shown that cervical cancer may be one of the few cancers that is actually preventable,” Hammerstrom said. “This vaccine will serve as our most effective tool in the fight against cervical cancer.”

The Detroit News does its readers a disservice, however, with the headline: “Mich. may force girls … Read