Tex Med. 2009;105(11):64.
In 2005, 11,999 women in the United States were diagnosed with cervical cancer, and 3,924 died from the disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In addition to Pap tests, physicians have the quadrivalent human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine Gardasil in the fight against cervical cancer. A Web-based survey of Texas physicians indicates that physicians in the state are slow to recommend the vaccine consistently to their 11- and-12-year-old female patients. The Web sites that follow contain educational materials about the HPV vaccine's benefits and recommendations.
Texas Medical Association
The Texas Medical Association's Physician Oncology Education Program (POEP) provides Texas medical professionals with resources to aid in the reduction of cancer morbidity and mortality. One such tool used to educate physicians about the HPV vaccine is the Guidelines on HPV Vaccination pocket guide. The pocket guide provides physicians with a summary of the recommended patient populations who should receive the vaccine, answers to commonly asked questions, and HPV talking points to discuss with patients. To request a pocket guide, call Cassandra Sanchez at (800) 880-1300, ext. 1672, or (512) 370-1672, or e-mail Cassandra Sanchez . Additional tools for cancer prevention can be found on POEP's Web site. The TMA Be Wise - Immunize SM Web site features information on adolescent immunization requirements and recommendations. TMA's Be Wise - Immunize Physician Toolkit for Adolescents [ PDF ] includes a physician manual that details HPV vaccine safety, efficacy, and recommendations. The toolkit also contains a brochure with HPV questions and answers provided by the Texas Department of State Health Services, along with best practice guidelines, vaccine safety information, complete details about ImmTrac (Texas' immunization registry), and more. Physicians can download a PDF version of the adolescent toolkit free of charge on the Be Wise - Immunize Web site. It's also available by calling Tammy Wishard, TMA outreach coordinator, at (800) 880-1300, ext. 1470, or (512) 370-1470, or by e-mailing Tammy Wishard .
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Web site devotes an entire section to information on the HPV vaccine. The site promotes HPV vaccine recommendations and safety information. The For Health Professionals section has links to an HPV informational brochure for clinicians , CDC experts' answers to clinical questions , HPV vaccine cost-effectiveness , HPV statistics , HPV and cervical cancer Webcast , a clinician education slide set, and an HPV vaccine guidelines podcast . Materials physicians can share with patients include questions and answers about HPV vaccine safety, a vaccine information statement , HPV and pre-teen vaccine campaign flyers and posters , common questions about HPV and cervical cancer for women who have HPV, and HPV publications.
National Institutes of Health
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) MedlinePlus highlights links to helpful information on a variety of health topics. The HPV Web page guides physicians through an HPV overview, the latest news on the disease and the vaccine, journal articles, clinical trials, statistics, and patient population-specific resources. The Prevention/Screening portion of the Web site covers Gardasil vaccine safety information , guidance for patients on proper condom use , information for patients on understanding abnormal Pap test results , and a guide for women about understanding cervical changes .
Texas Department of State Health Services
The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) Immunization Branch has resources for parents and the public, health care professionals, school and child care officials, and Texas vaccine partners. General information about HPV and the vaccine can be found on the DSHS Web site , as well as guidance on where to get the HPV vaccine in Texas. The Web site includes a Resources section with vaccine recommendations and a report on the prevalence of HPV infection among sexually active females aged 14 to 59. Physicians can also view a DSHS vaccine advisory online . The advisory contains a summary of provisional recommendations for the HPV vaccine, Texas Vaccines for Children Program information on HPV vaccine availability for eligible participants, ImmTrac readiness to receive data, Texas school and day care facilities' requirements for the HPV vaccine, and resources for HPV and the HPV vaccine.
MedBytes is a quick look at new, or newly discovered, Web sites of interest to Texas physicians. The column also highlights features of the TMA Web site. If you know of some interesting medical sites or have questions about how to use the TMA Web site, e-mail Crystal Conde . Publication of information about Web sites in this column is not to be considered an endorsement or approval by the Texas Medical Association of the sites or sponsors, or of any products or services involved.
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