Advanced Cervical Cancer Rates Up Despite Introduction of Gardasil Vaccine, Study Finds

Widespread use of the Gardasil vaccine has reduced HPV transmission, but has not resulted in the expected reduction in advanced cervical cancer rates.

While the Gardasil vaccine appears to be lowering human papillomavirus (HPV) rates among young women, the controversial new vaccination does not appear to be having the same positive effects on rates of advanced cervical cancer, which are rising according to the findings of a new study.

Researchers from University of California campuses published a study last month in the International Journal of Gynecological Cancer, which found that rates of advanced stage cervical cancer in the U.S. increased between 2001 and 2018, despite the introduction and widespread marketing of the Gardasil HPV vaccine. However, researchers did note that cervical cancer rates are higher among women who did not receive the vaccination.

Gardasil was first introduced in 2006, for prevention of HPV infections, which can be sexually transmitted and lead to the later development of cervical cancer. Following years of marketing by the drug maker that suggested the vaccine was safe and effective, Gardasil vaccination has been widely recommended for young girls and boys before adolescence and potential sexual activity.

While most health agencies in the U.S. still strongly encourage young adults to receive a vaccination with Gardasil, concerns have emerged in recent years that Merck failed to adequately warn about potential side effects of Gardasil, which have been linked to reports of debilitating autoimmune disorders, neurological side effects and other complications.

Merck currently faces dozens of Gardasil vaccine lawsuits, which allege that the drug maker has aggressively marketed the use of the vaccine among children nationwide, while withholding important safety warnings and information about cases of postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), chronic fatigue, cognitive dysfunction and other long-lasting side effects, which often prevent otherwise healthy young adults from engaging in daily activities, and sometimes result in the permanent need for a wheelchair.

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In this new study, researchers used data from the U.S. Cancer Statistics Program from 2001, several years before Gardasil was introduced, to 2018. They looked at rates of cervical cancer, screening and vaccination.

According to the findings, nearly 30,000 women in the U.S. were diagnosed with distant stage cervical carcinoma. While the findings indicated black women had higher screening rates and vaccination rates, they also have disproportionately higher rates of advanced cervical cancer than white women.

Overall, during the time period, rates of cervical adenocarcinoma increased nearly 3% for women across the board, with southern White women seeing the largest increase of 4.5%.

“Black women have a higher incidence of distant stage disease compared with White women,” the researchers concluded. “However, White women have a greater annual increase, particularly in adenocarcinomas. Compared with Black women, White women also have lower rates of guideline screening and vaccination.”

The study does not explain why the rates are increasing, but it was believed when Gardasil was introduced that such cancer rates would decrease as more women were vaccinated. However, some research has questioned the vaccine’s effectiveness as well as the potential health risks.

Gardasil Vaccine Concerns

Since it’s introduction,  concerns of the Gardasil vaccine causing POTS and other autoimmune disorders have emerged after one of the lead researchers responsible for developing the HPV vaccine, Dr. Diane Harper, indicated that the drug’s protection may only last a few years, suggesting that the risks may outweigh the benefits for young girls.

Dr. Harper reportedly said at a conference in 2009, that while Gardasil was tested on 15 year old girls, it is commonly being given to girls as young as nine years old. She has called for more detailed warnings to parents about the Gardasil risks and to provide additional information about the unknown long-term benefits for girls who are not likely to be sexually active for several years.

Studies have shown Gardasil contains a number of ingredients which are known to sometimes cause problems with the autoimmune system, including Amorphous Aluminum Hydroxyphosphate Sulfate (AAHS) and HPV LI-DNA fragments.

Critics claim Merck failed to adequately disclose the presence of these ingredients, and also claim Merck used them in the placebos given to “control” test subjects during clinical trials, leading to an inaccurate assessment of Gardasil side effects.

As a result, teens and young adults throughout the United States are now pursuing Gardasil POTS lawsuits against Merck, indicating that they were left with autoimmune disorders and severe pain and injuries after receiving the HPV vaccine injections, including potentially life-threatening autoimmune disorders and cancers.

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