The fight against Cervical Cancer
Coming from a family with a history of ovarian and cervical cancer from both paternal and maternal side, I’ve been asked by mom to get my shot for the cervical cancer vaccine.
About two years ago I was writing for this health website and did an article on cervical cancer vaccine. Then, it has not reached the Philippine islands or maybe its not yet that populat. I guess it really became the talk of the town when Pia Magalona, the wife of the late Filipino rapper Francis M, endorsed it with her daughter Maxine. The cost at that time ranges from 6000 to 8000 pesos per shot. That would be 18,000 to 24,000 for the three shots needed. Sobrang bigat sa bulsa especially for those who are at risk.
Cervical cancer is a cancer found in the tissues of the cervix and can be determined through regular Pap tests. It is caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. Now we can protect ourselves from these viruses with the help of HPV vaccine. Cervarix, the vaccine developed by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is the one available in the Philippines. It protects women from two type of HPV (types 16 and 18). Another vaccine called Gardasil developed by Merck and Co. protects women from 4 types of HPV virus (types 6, 11, 16 and 18). For more information on the vaccines and cervical cancer, check out http://www.gardasil.com/ and http://www.gsk.com/media/pressreleases/2008/2008_pressrelease_10071.htm
Please note that the vaccine DOES NOT treat cervical cancer. It helps us protect against the HPV that causes cervical cancer. It is given to girls as early as ten years old. It is given intramuscularly in three divided doses. The first dose, the next dose given a month after the first dose and the third and last dose given six months after the second dose. Side effects? Common side effect (according to my experience) is mild pain in the injection site.
So why should you get it if it does not treat the cancer? Simple, if you are protected from to viruses already (if you used Cervarix and 4 if you used Gardasil), it decreases your risk of getting it. Some types of HPV are also sexually transmitted, it might help you also if you are sexually active. Plus, it not only helps us against cervical cancer but also from genital warts.:) So why not get it?
I got my Cervarix shots at the Manila Doctors Hospital or MADOCS. My OB-GYN is Dr. Nora Sepidoza-Manga. Her clinic is at the Manila Doctors Hospital Room605. Clinic hours: 8:00AM to 12:00NN. Contact nos:5243011 loc 5050 direct line:5245329. You might want to get your shots, go visit her.
BTW, it costs Php3000 for every shot.:) Worth it for a lifetime of protection.
Just Me.For Now.