Posted by Dr. Sherrill Sellman
History is written by the winners. When it comes to the history of women’s health issues, hindsight has revealed that economic interests and unfounded medical biases have encouraged women to use dangerous and unproven treatments. As a result, drug companies and the medical profession have reaped great financial rewards. W omen, however, have suffered and even died as a result.
We so easily forget history as it fades into the mists of time. The history of treating women with unproven and dangerous drugs and procedures is rarely remembered these days. But the wounds remain.
The anti-morning sickness drug, thalidomide, still conjures up images of deformed children. The first synthetic estrogen called DES used from 1940-1970 to prevent miscarriage was used on 10, million American women without adequate testing. It was discovered to cause breast cancer in the women and aggressive cancers and reproductive abnormalities their offspring. Sadly, it never prevented miscarriage. (It was known in 1938 that DES could cause breast cancer.)
HRT, the supposed salvation of menopausal women, is a more recent historical footnote of medical mistakes. We’ll never know how many women died of HRT- induce breast cancer. However, the latest report has shown that the incidence of breast cancer has fallen dramatically is the past 4 years. This directly coincides to the decline in HRT use after a major study, the Women’s Health Initiative in 2002, found direct correlation with breast cancer and HRT use.
It seems that there is long history of women becoming unwitting guinea pigs for the medical/pharmaceutical interests.
More recently, a great deal of media attention is being focused on the development of the new MERCK vaccine, Gardasil, to prevent cervical cancer. Through Merck’s extensive and expensive national lobbying campaign, many states are being persuaded to mandate this vaccine to all 6th grade girls. T he vaccine addresses four viruses. Two of them are for genital warts that are not associated with cervical cancer. The other virus strains are causative factors for an estimated 70 percent of cervical cancer cases
The cost of the vaccine is $360 and delivered in three injections. It is the most expensive vaccine in history.
Prepubescent girls are the recipients of this vaccine because it is most effective when given to girls before they have been sexually active and exposed to the sexually transmitted virus, the human papillomavirus (HPV)
A vaccine that supposedly prevents cervical cancer evokes a tremendous amount of emotion. After all, who wouldn’t want to prevent their daughters from getting cervical cancer?
As with most “miracle” cures, however, there is more going on than meets the eye.
First, lets look at cervical cancer statistics. Cervical cancer has been declining in the last decade. The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2006 there were only be 9,710 new cases of cervical cancer, and only 3,700 deaths.
The prevailing theory is that the HPV virus causes cervical caner. There are over 100 strains of HPV. Fifteen of those strains have been associated with cervical cancer. Ninety percent of women will spontaneously clear HPV within 2 years.
With a total female population of just over 147,000,000, that translates to only about one in 2,500,000 women dying of cervical cancer.
How deadly is cervical cancer? The vast majority of cervical cancer deaths are in women who have never had a pap test. Not ever. Even one lifetime pap reduces the already very small chance of dying of cervical cancer from tiny to ridiculously miniscule. Those who die are those who do not get screened (for whatever reason, be it financial, cultural, socioeconomic, or other access issues.)
Even ignoring the limited incidence of cervical cancer, the facts are worrying. The vaccine is very new with only 3 1/2 years of testing, a very small sample of only 1,184 preteen girls was studied and there is a disturbingly short guarantee of immunity.
The vaccine has been on the market for only eight months, not nearly enough time to discover the range of adverse effects before administering it to millions of little girls.
Not surprisingly, Merck cannot guarantee there will be no long term health consequences, as have occurred with other vaccines. They also cannot guarantee long term protection (a “booster” shot may be required after five years).
Since it’s approval 8 months ago, there have already been 82 adverse effects reported including asthma, arthritis and auto-immune diseases
Barbara Loe Fisher, co-founder of the National Vaccine Information Center is very concerned. “That’s a thin base of testing upon which to make a vaccine mandatory,”
All of these questions should be considered against the backdrop of Merck’s financial position. The Wall Street Journal says mandatory vaccination would be an “automatic blockbuster” for the pharmaceutical company, at a time when its patents on other bestselling drugs are expiring. . If Gardasil is mandated throughout the U.S, Merck could expect a windfall of over a billion or more in profits.
By the way, because Gardasil is a CDC “blessed” vaccine, you can’t sue Merck for injuries sustained because of Gardasil. They’re given immunity
Considering all the facts, do you really want your 11 and 12 year old daughters to be the next generation of guinea pigs?
Dr. Sherrill Sellman, a naturopathic doctor, psychotherapist, best-selling author, and international lecturer, can be contacted though her website: www.whatwomenmustknow.com