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Modern Medicine Image Gallery Gardasil, developed by Merck, is being touted as the world's only cervical cancer vaccine. Learn about this cancer drug. See more modern medicine pictures.

Publications International, Ltd.

Texas recently became the first state to require that school-age girls receive the new cervical cancer vaccine, Gardasil. This mandate from the state's governor, Rick Perry, has been greeted with staunch opposition from local parents' rights groups, which feel that it condones unsafe sexual practices. As other states, such as Florida and North Carolina, ponder cervical cancer vaccinations, similar debates have emerged.

If you're unfamiliar with Gardasil, you might be wondering why any concerned parent would oppose a measure that could virtually wipe out such a deadly form of cancer. However, a close examination of the drug reveals that it does not treat any type of cancer specifically; instead, it attacks a common sexually transmitted disease, the human papilloma virus (HPV), that is known to cause cervical cancer.

In this article, we will show you exactly how the drug Gardasil works and explain the possible impact of the vaccine on public health. Here's a glimpse at the topics we'll cover:

  • Cervical Cancer It's easy to see why there is such a need for a cervical cancer vaccine. Although cervical cancer is relatively easy to detect -- a simple Pap smear can help thwart the disease at its earliest stages -- it still kills nearly 300,000 women per year. Women with certain forms of the human papilloma virus (HPV) are particularly vulnerable to developing cervical cancer. We'll provide extensive details on this deadly disease.
  • Understanding Gardasil It's not completely accurate to say that Gardasil is a vaccine for cervical cancer. The drug doesn't work against the cancer itself. Instead, it is used to prevent the infection of the types of HPVs that can lead to cervical cancer. Gardasil is, nonetheless, a huge breakthrough in the fight against cervical cancer. Gardasil, which is injected three times over an eight-month period, has the potential to save hundreds of thousands of lives. We'll explore the impact of this groundbreaking drug. //]]]]> ]]>

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