What if you could get a simple vaccine to prevent cancer? Wait, you can. And it is now approved for us “mature” ladies and gentlemen as well. Mom’s can get Gardasil.
What is the Gardasil Vaccine?
The Gardasil vaccine protects against the virus HPV and, through that, cervical cancer for women. The vaccine has been approved for years for individuals between the ages of 9-26 years. Here’s the new part: The Gardasil vaccine was approved up to the age of 45 earlier this year and the insurance companies are getting on board this month. As divorce rates increase and women opt to marry later in life, the potential benefits of protection from this vaccine in women ages 26-45 are growing. That’s good news for us ladies who were left out before.
HPV is not only responsible for cervical cancer but also oral cancers, anal cancers, vaginal cancers, and penile cancers. It is also responsible for genital warts. Imagine that risk gone. That’s huge.
Which Mom’s Should Get the Gardasil Vaccine?
If you are wondering, “I’m married and don’t plan any new sexual relationships in my life. Why would I get that vaccine?” Let me provide a real life example: I had a female patient DIE in her 80’s a few years ago from HPV-related anal cancer. Yes, you read that right. In her 80’s – and she actually died from the cancer caused by HPV.
You never know where life may take you – and being protected is never a bad thing.
The Gardasil vaccine is a 3-part vaccine given within 6 months. And it IS safe. Unfortunately, when it came out years ago there was some question around it. In my town, everyone talked about a “girl from South High” who became very ill after receiving the vaccine. So parents were hesitant to give it. I will tell you that no one, despite, my many requests, was ever able to give me any concrete information on this case.
What About Side Effects?
What I can tell you it that the biggest side effect is irritation at the site of injection. There is a statistically significant side effect of lightheadedness with the vaccine. But remember this has been given to teens and that reaction can be seen at this age in general.
I have given it to my own daughter and MANY teenage patients and have never had a call back for any reaction. Also newer is the indication that only 2 doses need to be given if your child receives it before the age of 15. We have known for years that we could essentially ELIMINATE cervical cancer for future generations with this vaccine and now we can expand the coverage even further. Please talk to your Doctor about receiving it.
Simple Solution: Gardasil vaccine – now available for us middle-agers. It is safe and worth getting. You never know where life will take you – you may just feel frisky in that Nursing Home.
For more on Updated Gardasil recommendations, check out:
American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology: https://www.acog.org/Clinical-Guidance-and-Publications/Practice-Advisories/FDA-Approval-of-9-valent-HPV-Vaccine-for-Use-in-Women-and-Men-Age-27-45?IsMobileSet=false
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