Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Lesson Learned

I feel the need to share a thing or two just now. The first is that I wrote my blog post on the plane, but on my work lap top and I don't feel like turning it on, so I am starting over. Second, when I sit down in this particular chair each night to write my blog, my cat seems to somehow sense this from the other room. He will show up at the foot of my chair and often jump in my lap to be loved, while I am trying to type. But he ran away about a week ago, during the night while I was asleep. I just returned from Wisconsin and sitting in this chair now is rather breaking my heart.

Oh well, and though I made it home from Wisconsin, my luggage did not. I have classes to teach or lead tomorrow morning and I am generally cranky.

All that being said, here is what I wanted to tell you today.

Recently I noted that a new vaccine for the prevention of human papillomavirus or HPV had been approved. I noted that the vaccine hit some of the same strains as Gardasil (merck) but was supposed to have an immune response for a longer period of time. All good, but still, why do we need two vaccines. Then I noted that the new vaccine, Cervarix (GSK) was also supposed to be protective against oral cancer. I opined on that as well. Why does the vaccine for a sexually transmitted disease affect oral cancer?

Here is the irony. In one of the breakout sessions of the 5th Annual Smokeless and Spit Tobacco Conference Iwas attending, I learned that the biggest rise in oral cancer cases was coming from those caused by HPV. Isn't that weird that the article that said Cervarix protected against oral cancer didn't also say that HPV was a risk factor for it. So now you know and if that IS true, then I guess it would behoove men to get the Cervarix vaccine as they DO have a mouth, lips, cheeks and a throat!

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