Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa
Cervical cancer is the second most prevalent cancer (second to breast cancer) to affect women in South Africa. The most common cancer to affect black women - 31 per cent of all cancers - it is also preventable and treatable. It is associated with the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), of which the most prevalent strains are 16 and 18. Cervical cancer also appears to be an opportunistic infection among those living with HIV as it links to a weakened immune system. In South Africa a woman's risk of developing cervical cancer is one in 26. Each year 6 700 women develop cervical cancer while 3 700 die from the disease annually in South Africa.
In what officials called a major public health breakthrough, the Food and Drug Administration yesterday approved the first vaccine developed to protect women against cervical cancer.
A breakthrough might have been achieved with the recent acquisition of a vaccine for cervical cancer in women.
The Medicines Control Council has been urged to fast-track approval of Gardasil, the first vaccine against cervical cancer. The appeal came from the head of the South African subsidiary of Merck, the pharmaceutical company which late last year announced research results that pointed to the astonishing efficacy of the vaccine.
Cervical Cancer Vaccine Gets Injected With a Social Issue Some Fear a Shot For Teens Could Encourage Sex
A new vaccine that protects against cervical cancer has set up a clash between health advocates who want to use the shots aggressively to prevent thousands of malignancies and social conservatives who say immunizing teenagers could encourage sexual activity. Although the vaccine will not become available until next year at the earliest, activists on both sides have begun maneuvering to influence how widely the immunizations will be employed.