Question about the Cervical Cancer / HPV Vaccine (Guardasil)!?

by Rachel on April 23, 2011

Hi! Bear with me for a second on this….

1. Human papilloma virus (HPV) is defined as family of viruses that causes hand warts, foot warts, flat warts and genital warts.
2. Guardasil is a “cervical cancer vaccine,” but in reality, it just protects against HPV, since HPV is the leading cause of cervical cancer.

This leads me to ask: Would the Guardasil vaccine protect against warts on the hands and feet too, since they’re all caused by the same virus (HPV) as genital warts?

Thanks!

P.S. I’m not covered in warts, just so you know, lol…. I was just watching a commercial about Guardasil and this question popped into my head!

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Elaine P April 23, 2011 at 2:14 pm

I spoke to my obgyn about this. She was very noncommittal. She said as long as I’m not having unprotected sex, there’s no reason to take the vaccine!

bmac April 23, 2011 at 2:31 pm

Actually, there are over 100 different types of HPV. About 30 of those put you at risk for cervical cancer. The HPV vaccine only covers those…..not warts on your hands and feet. Those are a different type of HPV that is harmless.

Guardasil is NOT a cervical cancer vaccine. It IS only a HPV vaccine. If you protect against the kinds of HPV that cause cervical cancer, you greatly reduce your chances of getting it.

More info:
http://www.cdc.gov/std/HPV/STDFact-HPV.htm

http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/vis/downloads/vis-hpv.pdf

Robert K April 23, 2011 at 2:34 pm

There are several strands of HPV and the Vaccine only protects against a handful. Each strand has different symptoms, like warts and cervical cancer. While the vaccine does protect against some of these, it does not protect against all of them, it only reduces the likelihood of contracting things like cervical cancer or warts. It does not protect 100% against any one particular strand.

Gary G April 23, 2011 at 3:06 pm

I would be surprised if Guardasil was that broad in its protection as to vaccinate against other varied types of warts.

I do believe that it is very worthy of considering as a vaccination. I believe that 25% of the adult, sexually active population has HPV. So, it’s a good idea to play it safe. The belief that this vaccine will promote promiscuity is silly.

jt April 23, 2011 at 3:57 pm

This is an excellent, informed question regarding human papillomavirus (HPV).

1. There are over 100 kinds of HPV; about 30 of them are considered sexually transmissible.
2. Gardasil protects you from HPV Types 6, 11, 16, and 18. Two of these viruses are responsible for MOST cervical cancers. The other two are responsible for MOST genital warts. Therefore, Gardasil does not protect you from the other 98 kinds of HPV that cause warts.
3. The manufacturer intends for the Gardasil vaccination (a series of 3 injections) to last your lifetime. However, since it is a new vaccination it is unknown whether, in the future, a Gardasil booster (like a tetanus booster!) will be required to maintain your immunity.
4. Since Gardasil is a new vaccine, any extreme long-term adverse effects are still unknown. However, I have not yet seen a physician who says, “Don’t take the vaccine!”
5. Gardasil does not protect you from pregnancy, chlamydia, syphilis, gonorrhea, HIV, pubic lice, Hepatitis, yeast infections, or trichomoniasis.

It is very important to realize that you still contract genital warts and cervical cancer even after Gardasil vaccination, since Gardasil only protects you from some of the viruses that can cause these conditions. However, I would advise any girls 12-16, even if you are sexually active, to discuss Gardasil with your physician. It may save your life someday.

Alli April 23, 2011 at 4:15 pm

There are over 120 different “kinds” or “types” of HPV. Gardasil only protects against 4 of those different kinds, not ALL kinds of HPV.

Each type of HPV is responsible for one thing. So, for example, type 6 is responsible for genital warts and only genital warts. It won’t cause cervical cancer or other kinds of warts.

Gardasil protects against HPV types 16 and 18 which cause 70% of cervical cancer cases, and HPV types 6 and 11 which cause 90% of genital warts cases.

Hope that answered your questions!

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