PSYC 4320 Lecture Notes - Lecture 7: Cervical Cancer, Canadian Cancer Society, Genital Wart

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28 Jul 2016
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DISCUSSION 7- Feb 4
Outline the HPV vaccine debate (what are the pros and cons for each side). After considering
Lippman et al.’s commentary and the various responses what is your view on school based
immunization programs? Lippman et al., suggest a number of educational and behavioural
recommendations that are clearly in the realm of social psychology (e.g., educating the public about
cervical cancer, and emphasizing the importance of barrier methods, good nutrition, smoking
cessation, and regular Pap testing). Do we have any evidence that this would be as effective as an
HPV vaccination program? Could these recommendations also result in unintended negative “side
effects”?
a) HPV VACCINE DEBATE
PROS
Only way to prevent transmission and contraction of HPV for people who are sexually active
HPV vaccine is 96-100% effective at preventing HPV types 6, 11, 16 and 18 (all cause abnormal Pap
results) à responsible for more than 90% of genital warts, about 70% of cervical and anogenital cancers
and 35-50% of low-grade cervical, vaginal and vulvar lesions
If we have the means to provide women with an opportunity to protect themselves against cervical cancer
why not do it?
Treating cervical cancer is costly both psychologically and financially. The article describes a cervical
cancer procedure as: "a heroic act by gynecologic oncologists to rescue patients with locally advanced
disease, is among the most gruesome and complex of all surgical procedures and is psychologically
devastating " (in regards to Pelvic excenteration)
We can use women who received the shot as an experimental group to see the long-term outcomes of the
shot and improve it if need be
Genital warts has been becoming more prevalent in the last 20 years, therefore the vaccination will help
crack down on that
Costs of the shots will go down over time
CONS (according to article)
Mass vaccination programs were premature back in 2007
Is there a point?
Article questions whether there is a need for mass immunization for HPV if the incidence and mortality of
cervical cancer have been decreasing in Canada
“Most HPV infections are cleared spontaneously’
No goal was defined prior to vaccination program- are they aiming for herd immunity or is it to reduce
the number of deaths from cervical cancer?
We still don’t know for sure how long vaccinations last- It’s hypothesized that Gardasil shots that were
administered in schools need boosters after 8 years (Canadian Cancer Society)
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