The HPV vaccine provides effective protection from the human papilloma virus and the cancers it can induce. Because HPV is transmitted sexually, inclusion in mandatory vaccination schedules has been a controversial issue, and legislation varies by state. Complicating matters further, companies have continued to improve the vaccine, expanding the list of viral strains that it protects against. A new study in PNAS finds that having states require the latest, most protective HPV vaccine for girls and boys would be highly cost-effective and would lead to better health outcomes at the national level.
Autism or death from pneumococcal meningitis. It’s a simple choice, really 😉
By your early 20s, there’s a good chance you are due for some boosters, said Dr. Wanda Filer, president of the American Academy of Family Physicians. You may also “need to play catch-up” if you’ve missed any vaccines or failed to complete a series, she said.
Everyone needs a tetanus and diphtheria booster every 10 years; the shots are often combined. So if you were 12 the last time you had a tetanus shot, you’re due for one at 22.
Adults ages 19 to 64 should also get a pertussis, or whooping cough, booster. Pregnant women should be vaccinated against pertussis toward the end of each pregnancy in order to protect their newborns from this disease, which can be devastating for a baby.
Endometrial cancer, which affects the inner lining of the uterus, accounts for six percent of all cancers among women and is the “most common gynecologic malignancy in the United States,” according to the National Cancer Institute. But unlike breast or cervical cancers, there’s no easy or effective way to screen for the disease.
That could soon change, says Jamie Bakkum-Gamez, whose team used everyday tampons to pick up tumor DNA. She notes in a release that though a 2004 study showed that women with endometrial cancer left some signs of cancerous cells on tampons, nobody had tried to use the results to improve cancer screening techniques. Her team took up the challenge, obtaining samples from 38 women with endometrial cancer and 28 without. They analyzed ordinary tampons used by the women and isolated DNA from the samples.
While this seems useful, endometrial cancer is much more common in post-menopausal women. That’s not to say that this doesn’t have its uses if someone is showing symptoms. There’s nothing in the article about how the test works to know if it’s specific to the tampon, or if the test would work on a menstrual/diva cup.
Don’t Flush Your Tampons
Flushing tampons is just one of several no-nos that ensure that plumbers will never be out of business. Ditto for personal wipes, baby wipes and, if you can believe it, dental floss.