Abnormal Pap Smears, Cervical Dysplasia and Cervical Cancer Spike Post-HPV Vaccination
Guest Post by Leslie Botha, Women’s Health Freedom Coalition Coordinator, Natural Solutions Foundation,
and Janny Stokvis, VAERS Research Analyst
In 2006, the HPV vaccine Gardasil touted to prevent cervical cancer was introduced to a public generally unaware of the Human Papillomavirus or its threat to adolescent girls and women. However, the public was quickly informed of the dangers of the virus when Merck launched an aggressive advertising campaign designed to capture the attention of girls/women ages 9 to 26 with a catchy jingle and their now famous line: “One Less Girl to Get Cervical Cancer.” Adolescent girls were dancing and singing that they will be ‘one less girl’ in unison with the award-winning TV commercial.
According to Neon Tommy, the online publication for the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, USC, the promotion was successful. In 2008 Merck’s marketing techniques even earned Gardasil a “pharmaceutical brand of the year” award from Pharmaceutical Executive for its ‘savvy disease education,’ and for building ‘a market out of thin air’.
Six years later, it appears that ‘one less’ is now turning into ‘one more’ as reports of abnormal pap smears, cervical dysplasia and cervical cancer are appearing in the HPV vaccine targeted market.
As of May 12, 2012 the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) showed there have been 26,050 reports of adverse events (including 849 reports from boys/men ages nine to 26) post-HPV vaccination. The National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) estimates only 1 to 10% of the vaccine-injured are reporting.
Of concern is the significant increase in reporting for cervical abnormalities reported to VAERS each month. Of even more concern is that the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology has raised pap testing guidelines to age 21 leaving many adolescents without proper cervical screening tools post-vaccination. Yet a significant number of events are being reported by an age group that typically does not develop cervical cancer until age 50 or older. According to Stokvis, some of the reports of cervical abnormalities are occurring four to five years post-vaccination.
Abnormal Pap Smears: 490 (greatest number of incident reports age 14 to 26)
Cervical Dysplasia: 195 (greatest number of incident reports age 14 to 26)
Cervical Cancer: 56 (greatest number of incident reports age 16 to 26)
In January 2012, the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology published the ATHENA HPV study announcing the results of a large cervical cancer screening trial, enrolling 47,208 women 21 years of age or older at 61 clinical sites throughout the United States. The authors reported that in a sub group of 12,852 young women, the HPV vaccine reduced HPV-16 infections only 0.6% in vaccinated women vs. unvaccinated women. Most disturbing are the data that showed other high-risk HPV infections were diagnosed in vaccinated women 2.6% to 6.2% more frequently than unvaccinated women. In fact, the study reported that the increased rate of infections by carcinogenic HPV types in vaccinated women (other than those targeted by Gardasil®) is four to ten times higher than the reduction in HPV 16/18 infections.
Why are these numbers of great concern? According to 2005 -2009 data reported by the National Cancer Institute,
The median age at diagnosis for cancer of the cervix uteri was 48 years of age. Approximately 0.2% were diagnosed under age 20; 14.0% between 20 and 34; 25.9% between 35 and 44; 23.9% between 45 and 54; 16.7% between 55 and 64; 10.7% between 65 and 74; 6.1% between 75 and 84; and 2.6% 85+ years of age.
The problem is that the FDA has not recommended a reliable HPV screening assessment prior to the mass vaccination program. In addition, the CDC estimates 25,000,000 people have been previously exposed to HPV.
In September 2011, Norwegian immunologist, Charlotte Haug, M.D., Ph.D. raised the issue of potential HPV virus replacement in her opinion paper in the New Scientist titled: “We Need to Talk about HPV Vaccination Seriously”
There is another serious question that may be answered sooner: what effect will the vaccine have on the other cancer-causing strains of HPV? Nature never leaves a void, so if HPV-16 and HPV-18 are suppressed by an effective vaccine, other strains of the virus will take their place. The question is, will these strains cause cervical cancer?
Dr. Haug noted that vaccinated women showed an increased number of precancerous lesions caused by strains of HPV other than HPV-16 and HPV-18. She also wrote “…the results are not statistically significant, but if the trend is real – and further clinical trials should tell us in a few years – there is reason for serious concern.”
Even in 2009, a voice of concern by medical researchers about virus replacement was raised:
…However, the biological mechanisms of different HPV types are not yet fully understood, and the significance of cross-protection is limited by a small number of lesions, short study period, and lack of data on ICC. It is worth noting that following HPV vaccine implementation, other high-risk HPV types than HPV 16 and 18 could replace the biological niche of HPV 16 and 18, thereby causing a relatively greater proportion of cervical cancer and cervical cancer precursors cases [9,10]. If this occurs, there is a potential to offset the benefits of vaccination. HPV vaccination evaluation programs should consider this possibility and evaluate changes in HPV type distribution in high-grade lesions and ICC over time relative to HPV types found in the general population with documentation of HPV vaccination history. Long-term follow-up during further vaccine evaluation is expected to address those two issues.