Writing Exercise #2

There are twelve HPV strains linked to cancer or associated with carcinogenesis. For a new treatment it would be best to target the high-risk groups which are linked to 80% of cervical cancers and the potential links to anogenital, head, or neck cancers. The high-risk HPVs include 16, 18, 31, and 45. HPVs 16 and 18 already have vaccines commonly available. Therefore, I would recommend to my colleague that the new treatment covers strains 31 and 45. These are high-risk and as the paper states, “the third leading cause of cancer-related mortalities in women.” I would recommend these two strains because they are as high-risk as strains 16 and 18. The other strains have no confirmed connections to cancers.

There is no way to derive which of the two, 31 or 45, would be more cost effective. One is not more high-risk than the other. Moreover, the treatment for these two strains should be administered before individuals become sexually active (where they are more likely to be exposed to the virus). It is best that the treatment is administered before exposure. A age for administration could be like the other HPV vaccines—age 11 or 12.

(Sarid and Gao 2011)

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