Total Drek

Or, the thoughts of several frustrated intellectuals on Sociology, Gaming, Science, Politics, Science Fiction, Religion, and whatever the hell else strikes their fancy. There is absolutely no reason why you should read this blog. None. Seriously. Go hit your back button. It's up in the upper left-hand corner of your browser... it says "Back." Don't say we didn't warn you.

Monday, February 25, 2008

I don't know whether I should laugh or cry.

I'm busy today, seeing as how I spent the morning helping my wife with her work, but I ran across this tasty tidbit of news that I thought y'all might appreciate. Many of you are probably familiar with Gardasil, the vaccine for HPV that should protect women from many kinds of cervical cancer. What you may not know is that, according to a guest poster on aetiology, it may also be effective in preventing something else: breast cancer.

Could Gardasil protect against other cancers, such as breast cancer?

Possibly. New studies from the University of New South Wales may indicate that this may indeed be the case. In the January 2008 edition of the British Journal of Cancer a lead investigator in this study Dr. Lawson explains that in 11 of 13 studies conducted in several countries HPV DNA from types 16, 18 and others was found in breast tumors. He goes on to state that an additional 5 epidemiological studies revealed there was indeed a relationship between the age of onset of breast cancer if that person was positive for HPV. In one study, Greek women developed breast cancer 15 years earlier if they had an HPV infection in their breast tissue. Many of these researchers went on to say that HPV could be transferred to the breast during sexual activities or from the genitals to breast during routine bathing. However, they were cautious to state that this research is still in its early stages and that a direct link between HPV and breast cancer needs to be more fully researched.

If this turns out to be true, it's super, super cool. A single vaccine may prove to be effective in stoping multiple kinds of different types of cancers. And given the number of women who die from breast cancer in the United States the potential impact is profound.* Or, in any case, the potential impact for those of us who believe in science is profound. The folks over on Conservapedia have their own ideas about gardasil. If it turns out that gardasil does help prevent breast cancer in addition to cervical cancer, I'm forced to wonder if that might perhaps be sufficient reason to consent to vaccinating our young women before they become sexually active.

But probably not in the eyes of most conservapeons. I don't mind that they have their own opinions, I just wish women didn't have to die for them.

* Not to mention that, were we to conquer breast cancer, we could stop coloring everything in the goddamn world a vile shade of pink to show our sensitivity to breast cancer.

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