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Two Doctors Explain Their Support of the Gardasil Vaccine

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As parents contemplate whether or not they should have the Gardasil vaccine administered to their daughters, one of the first people that they turn is to their doctors. In this segment, I posed questions to two doctors supporting the vaccine.
Dr. Margaret Lewin, M.D., F.A.C.P., is the Medical Director of Cinergy Health, an insurance benefits provider. She advises the board on patient related issues and public health concerns. Lewin is board-certified in Internal Medicine, Hematology, and Medical Oncology. Lewin is affiliated with New York Presbyterian Hospital and the Hospital for Special Surgery.

Dr. Alan Gibstein, M.D., F.A.C.S., F.A.C.O.G., is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at NYU School of Medicine. He is board-certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology, and is affiliated with North Shore University Hospital. He was president of the Long Island Jewish Medical Center medical staff from 1982-1983. In addition to his work as an attending gynecologist, he has been actively involved in medical and residency teaching.
On why they supported the vaccine:
Dr. Lewin wrote:
“The evidence clearly shows that the quadrivalent HPV vaccine prevents cervical intraepithelial neoplasia caused by 70% of known HPV subtypes as well as preventing genital warts – both of which are highly contagious (even without sexual penetration), cause significant distress, substantial cost, and cannot reliably be permanently eliminated. There are published reports of oral cancer caused by the HPV virus. Oral cancers and their treatment are devastating, and the ability to avoid HPV-related oral cancers strongly increases my support from the vaccine.”

Dr. Gibstein wrote:

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EmpowHER Guest

Thanks for your feedback. The next two installments will prove enlightening as well.
Please stick with the series!

December 15, 2009 - 11:35am
HERWriter Guide (reply to Anonymous)

But of course!

December 15, 2009 - 5:15pm
HERWriter Guide

I second Pat's sentiments - Marcia - thank you for this information. The more we have, the better.

I've personally never met an MD who didn't actively push (rather than suggest and inform) for vaccinations. As a patient and the parent of three very young patients, I'm not too keen on this.

I do believe in vaccinations - my kids are vaccinated (we have delayed some). However, my children will not receive this HPV vaccination until more and more studies come out. I think most of us know that Merck and the FDA pushed this vaccine through approval so fast our collective heads should still be spinning. Some of the studies were not even complete.

Just because a doctor or drug companies says it's so - doesn't make it so. We should never be afraid to ask questions and challenge "experts". Because as I told my kids' pediatrician, I'm the one going home to care for my little ones, and my husband and I are the ones responsible for their overall well-being; including any fallout.

Vaccinations are not bad - but not all are good, especially those than came through FDA approval at the (relatively speaking) speed of light.

Just food for thought and again, thanks for your input. The more I learn about all aspects of health care, the better I (and my family) will be!

December 12, 2009 - 11:32am
HERWriter Guide

Hi Marcia - Given the often controversial discussions about the Gardasil vaccine, it's good to have as much information as possible. Too many of us remember the manner in which various estrogen supplements were marketed to women, and have learned to be more diligent and cautious, especially with new products. Just like Dr. Gibstein, a lot of us have issues with the advertising tactics and pricing. Some of the current practices by the pharmaceutical companies just make it even more clear that caution and due diligence are necessary. Please keep us posted as more information becomes available. Thanks, Pat

December 11, 2009 - 5:39pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.