Raising Awareness During Cervical Cancer Awareness Month

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By state Sen. Barbara Buono

There were no flashing lights or red flags that let 4,000 women across this country know that cervical cancer was coming.

Most of these women – mothers, sisters, daughters, and aunts – felt no pain and lived normally unaware of the disease that in a matter of time would take their lives.

Most of these women – the majority of whom were under the age of 65 – are survived by friends and family, neighbors and co-workers who loved them and miss their presence daily.

All of these women – casualties of an illness that is 100 percent preventable – should still be here today.

Although the ubiquitous pink ribbons we all see each October may be more prevalent than the teal and white emblems symbolizing cervical cancer awareness in January, we cannot ignore the fact that each year 12,000 women in the United States receive a life-changing diagnosis that they have the disease.

More than ever before, we have the resources to ensure that cervical cancer becomes a thing of the past. In addition to regular Pap smears that can lead to early detection and treatment of the disease, young women under the age of 26 may receive a vaccine against the human papillomavirus, or HPV, the most common cause of cervical cancer. Federal health care reform provisions effective this August will make these services more affordable and thus more accessible. It is critically important – and potentially life-saving – that every young woman meets with her doctor to discuss these preventative measures.

In the state of New Jersey, this is an important time to think about just how crucial funding for women’s health centers really is. When Governor Christie cut $7.5 million of this support from the budget, he denied many women access to the examinations and care that help prevent and treat diseases that most affect them, including cervical cancer. As a husband and the father of two beautiful young daughters, one would expect that the governor would acknowledge the gravity of this funding.

Just last year, a young woman from Marlboro, through strength and faith, was able to overcome cervical cancer. But her road to being cancer-free was not an easy one. After starting her first full-time job, she went to the doctor for the first time in three years, a practice that had become irregular due to her lack of health insurance after graduating from college. Shortly after that visit, she was diagnosed with cervical cancer. She did not feel sick. She did not look sick. But it took a decade of chemotherapy, radiation, and a hysterectomy – which left her infertile – for her to make a full recovery.

She is just 35.

This is not a matter of our principles and personal beliefs; it’s about memorializing the 4,000 women who died last year and honoring the young woman from Marlboro and other survivors by making sure that we learn, act, and move forward.

I urge you to join me in informing the women in your life – and those who love and depend on them – about the risk of cervical cancer this month and every month.

State Sen. Barbara Buono is a Democrat representing the 18th Legislative District


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1 comment for “Raising Awareness During Cervical Cancer Awareness Month

  1. wagonerjc
    January 24, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    There are several assumptions about HPV vaccines and their ability to protect against cervical cancer that are suspect, namely: that the HPV vaccine is effective, safe, necessary; that there are no alternatives; that there are no uncertainties; that the manufactures and regulators are worthy of trust and of course would accept liability for their actions; that any harm to individuals would be offset by the gain of the greater good; that the makers are more motivated by altruistic concerns for society than profit.

    EFFECTIVE AGAINST CERVICAL CANCER ? UNPROVEN !!

    Merck, the manufacture of Gardasil has been forbidden by the FDA to market this vaccine as a anti cervical cancer vaccine. It is marketed as a vaccine for HPV. There are no clinical trials which would establish efficacy as a treatment for cervical cancer. Why ? Because a clinical trial would take decades . as Girls inoculated with the vaccine would have to be tracked though about age 60, as cervical cancer does not show up early. Any claim that the HPV vaccine is a cervical cancer vaccine is based on ignorance, or gross speculation.

    SAFETY

    In 2009, Dr. Diane Harper, lead researcher in HPV at University of Minnesota Gynecological Cancer Prevention Group went on record stating that the rate of serious adverse reactions to the HPV vaccines was greater than the rate of cervical cancer. These reactions include death ( so far over 60 reported ) and permanent sever disabilities ( over 300 reported ) ( numbers are for the U.S. ) In other words, there are more problems caused by the vaccine than cervical cancer. Treatment of cervical cancer, according to the CDC, has a success rate of about 75 percent. There is no known treatment for death caused by this vaccine.

    ADDITIONAL UNCERTAINTIES, A FEW OF WHICH
    The affect of this vaccine on fertility is unknown, and likewise, it is unknown if this vaccine itself could cause cancer in humans.

    ALTERNATIVES
    Testing a potential partner for STD is an alternative not generally suggested. There is an assumption that HPV infections are inevitable.

    TRUSTING FDA, MERCK ? MAKERS PROTECTED FROM LAWSUIT

    In the last 25 years, one quarter of all pharmaceutical products have been recalled. Why ? Because they either kill people or are ineffective. Take Merck’s Vioxx for example. Vioxx was allowed to be on the market for five years, killing at least 35 thousand people. That is about 3 times the death rate for cervical cancer. Promoting unnecessary, costly vaccines is a great business plan for Merck because unlike their drugs, they cannot be sued for problems ( death and disability ) caused by vaccines ( thanks to our government ). Now we are supposed to trust Merck and the government that the deaths associated with HPV vaccines are purely coincidental ? Does the Leopard change its Spots ?

    CONCLUSION

    Just say no the the unproven, unsafe, and unnecessary HPV vaccines that are promoted to be cervical cancer cures. Taking an unproven cure from a disease that may be occur thirty five years later is unprecedented. Why risk death and disability of the youth ? This promotion of the HPV vaccine as a ‘cure ‘ for cervical cancer assumes there will be no advancements in medicine in the next thirty five years, so go with this risky, unproven treatment we have today. This is pure nonsense.

    I think its ironic, that the mainstream medical industry holds the double blind, controlled clinical trial as the gold standard for proving efficacy, and would condemn any alternative that doesn’t provide this scientific testing ( and a list of ingredients ) as snake oil or quack medicine, but does not hold the HPV vaccines to the same standard.

    There is much more to this story. Google “Medical journal openly questions science, ethics of HPV vaccinations” for more info.

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