What makes a disease dangerous? Is it the fact what a person has to suffer through, or the impact that it has on the quality of life, or just maybe it comes down to the fact it’s curable or not? I think it all plays a part, but the looming possibility of numbered days is what really rocks the cradle.
With this fear and realization comes the attempt to make things better and our endeavours to find cures. Cancer is one such murderer that doesn’t always kill, but definitely, disrupts the way of life and challenges a person’s existence. Generally, most cancers are treatable but rarely curable. The challenge with it is even after it’s gone, it can return anytime like a bad movie sequel. Hence we try to outdo it, and for some type came up with vaccines. If we can’t cure it, let’s prevent it.
Hence to our own rescue, we decided to look into these miracle vaccines, more specifically we are looking at the lady killer – Cervical cancer vaccines.
We have for some time heard about the emergence of vaccines namely Gardasil and Cervarix, which when catered to young females between the age group 9-26 can help prevent cervical cancer from happening. Many countries have mandated it to be provided to the younger group of girls between 9-13 years.
First thing first, these vaccines are not specifically designed for cervical cancer but HPV (Human Papillomavirus – a sexually transmitted common infection). Now certain types of HPV like 6, 8, 16 and 18 make for about 70% of the cervical cancer-causing culprit. Hence by preventing this infection, or by making our immune system prepared to counter attack when encountering this infection, even before it could release the real damage causing agents, this vaccine aids in thwarting the possibility of getting cervical cancer.
As to the big question, if it works? Since there is no easy way to explain it, let’s look at some crucial facts:
- This vaccine renders best results when administered in young age. Because it slims the chance of encountering the infection before the vaccine, and in younger age, the immune system works better at adapting such vaccines
- So far with all studies conducted on the drug, it has been found effective. It works against majorly all types including 16,18 HPV. Also, it is approved by FDA and CDIC and so far no major side effects have been brought to notice, apart from the normal effects that accompany most vaccines
- It is not cancer proof, you can still get cancer after the vaccine owing to other factors as well, so regular screening doesn’t get replaced by the vaccine
- If a person already has an HPV infection, this vaccine will not treat it, and it can be left ineffective in the face of an already existing virus
Now to draw the conclusion, the vaccine will not help if you are older, or already have HPV infection. But cervical cancer is the second most common cancer worldwide affecting females; hence I call it the lady killer. This vaccine, especially for upcoming generations, provides a fair and healthy chance to combat the occurrence, it increases our chances manifold at a healthier life. So why not, let’s say yes to Life and board the vaccine wagon.