HPV Vaccines

Gardasil® or HPV vaccine has been gracing front lines for some time now.  Over the years I have been asked numerous times about the risk and benefits of this vaccine for male and female adolescents.  In this post, I would like to provide the most current information to allow adolescents and their parents to make an educated decision.

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccine was developed to protect our growing preteen and teen population from most of the cancers caused by HPV infection. HPV is a common virus that affects thousands of men and women yearly. Most of the time, the body naturally fights off HPV before it causes any problems.

HPV
Human Papillomavirus

In cases when the body is unable to fight off the virus, HPV causes a number of health problems, like cancers and genital warts. HPV is central to the development of cervical neoplasia (precancerous) and can be detected in 99.7% of cervical cancer.  Women with cervical cancer are usually asymptomatic in early stages, with symptoms usually presenting themselves when cancer has metastasized.  PAP smear is a universal screening that is used to screen women for cervical cancer.  For that reason alone, all women 18 years and older should have annual gynecological exam. Continue reading “HPV Vaccines”

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Influenza and vaccines

My longtime friend has asked me to write a bit on influenza and vaccination guidelines.  As medical provider, I always strive to provide my patients with as much information as possible to allow them to make the best educated choices for their children based on the latest American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and Centers For Disease Control (CDC) guidelines.

In order for us to understand why the flu vaccine may prevent majority of flu illness in some years and be somewhat less effective in others, I will quickly go over the fascinating flu vaccine evolution.

Continue reading “Influenza and vaccines”