Threshold of squeamish

10 Oct

There was an article in today’s newspaper about the vaccine against HPV(human Papillo virus) which causes cervical cancer. This cancer kills 10 women every day and is sexually transmitted. They have started administering this vaccine to 11 yr olds girls as it is effective before one becomes sexually active.

The interesting part about that article was

“ The development of the first vaccine for any kind of cancer is a major milestone. And yet there was a reluctance by some to embrace the new vaccine because, well, you know how squeamish Americans can be about sex.”

LOL!!.Ofcourse, I am assuming they are comparing themselves to Europeans. Wondering how this will be taken in India. At home, it is not considered just squeamish, but a taboo just to use the word. I am talking about an average Indian here, though there might be exceptions. There could be two perspectives

1. Though every parent knows that it could be beneficial, they will still hesitate to administer it.

2. They may not understand the meaning of this vaccine and administer it as part of the usual regimen , like polio. Ignorance is bliss , afterall.


Posted by on October 10, 2006 in From AM-KICKING blog


5 responses to “Threshold of squeamish

  1. Saumya

    October 10, 2006 at 6:33 pm

    I remember reading about this in the Doctor’s office, and was thinking about what a loaded decision that is:
    1) They is no long-term data available on possible side-effects. No trends etc
    2) True….if it is effective against cervical cancer, it is a good shot, but I certainly would like to research more about the vaccine and how it works.

  2. Injikadan Mathai

    October 11, 2006 at 1:58 am

    very interesting indeed…never heard of this…neways regarding the topicsss

    a) as Saumya has noted there are no long term trends available especially on side effects of administering the drugs…i’m wondering if the vaccine fools around with your hormonal balances or whatever (my knowledge of biology really sucks)..neways the basics being administering the vaccine to children who are still growing might have other effects possibly…of course the scientists at FDA or NIH or whatever the organizing body are definitely smarter than me…

    b) on the taboo issue…i never understood why such a normal aspect of ones life needs to be covered up and i guess will never understand (lol)…

  3. Mindframes

    October 11, 2006 at 10:29 pm

    Well, with regards to long term side effects, it is just a balance of risk vs benefits. The real big questions are (i) What is the probability for someone getting cervical cancer? (ii) How long would one live if they get it?

    If the answers to the above questions is, even say >10%, would long term side effects matter?

    I think, the squeamishness is a residual generation to generation issue. Hopefully, our future generations wouldnt be as squeamish as we are, or rather, less squeamish than we are… I think, our educational system also plays a major role…

  4. Survivor

    October 12, 2006 at 4:07 am

    @ Mindframes,
    We are in the same wavelength. Its about the risks vs benefits.A vaccine for cancer is a major milestone.

    @ Saumya,
    Usually any medicine approved by FDA goes through various phases of clinical trials before coming to the market.

  5. bumblebee

    October 13, 2006 at 11:39 pm

    It IS a milestone and thankful to the sciences. I am totally in agreement on the cost versus benefits analysis mentioned by mindframes and survivor.

    The hesitation might go away gradually as statistics build.

    And if they do administer it as a routine and people ignorantly take it, then the statistics will build even faster!

    Nice article. Thanks for sharing this.


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