Potential Victory: FDA considers expanding HPV vaccination

Gardasil

Good news for ladies older than 26: The United States Food and Drug Administration is considering opening up the HPV vaccine to women as old as 45, the Associated Press reported.

Human papilloma virus (HPV), can cause cervical cancer and genital warts in women, but goes mostly undetected (and untestable) in men. Gardasil, made by Merck & Co., blocks four strains of HPV which account for more than 70 percent of all HPV cases resulting in cervical cancer. The preventative vaccine is administered through a series of three shots over the course of six months. Obviously, you should speak at length with your gyno before making a decision about this or any other medical treatment.

The vaccination is currently only approved for ladies falling in the 9-26 age bracket. In the meantime, it's estimated that more than 6 million Americans come down with HPV annually; and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 20 million people in the United States have HPV right now.

Stand by—a decision of whether to make Gardasil available to older women is expected by the summer.

[Originally posted at playgirl.com/blog]