New Vaccine To Fight Cervical Cancer

A new vaccine to fight cancer is considered safe and effective, and is one step closer to being approved by the FDA.

Merck, the maker of Gardasil went before the Food and Drug Administration advisory panel. In a vote of 13 to 0, the committee endorse the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine. If approved doctors say it could be the biggest advancement in preventing cervical cancer since the pap test.

We visited with a local woman, recovering from cervical cancer, about the new vaccine.

"I was serious concerned and knew something was going on and knew we needed to get to the bottom of it," says Shelly Schiel, Cervical Cancer Survivor.

She was diagnosed with cervical cancer two months ago.

"Very frightened and wondering how far it had gone, how far the cancer had spread. You have thoughts am I going to live, am I going to have to go through chemo or radiation," says Shelly.

She immediately underwent treatment.

"I did have a hysterectomy just in case that the cancer had spread to the lympnods because once it goes to your lympnods it goes much faster through your body quicker," says Shelly.

Her doctor, Dr. Bill Brown with Tyler Obstetrics and Gynecology says the vaccine is a huge step to saving lives.

"I think it is going to be important when you consider almost 4,000 women in the United States die every year of cervical cancer and worldwide it is the most common cancer in women. I think it is going to make a huge impact on public health," says Dr. Brown.

If the vaccine Gardasil is approved it could reduce the number of cervical cancer deaths by more than two-thirds.

"If we decide to vaccinate all children boys and girls I think we have the greatest opportunity to wipe out cervical cancer," says Dr. Brown.

As someone who has had cervical cancer, Shelly says she would welcome the vaccine.

"I feel like the pain and suffering that I have gone through is just a drop in the bucket compared to what some other women have gone through and some have lost their lives," says Shelly.

She says she hopes the vaccine is approved to help save lives and prevent anyone from having to go through what she went through.

The FDA will make final decision on whether the vaccine is approved by June 8th.

Karolyn Davis, reporting.