Where do you get your health information? Doctors are often too busy to spend much time on preventive care. The internet is alive with personal and commercial blogs on the latest health fads. And most recently, politicians are getting into the act.
The latest bruhaha about the HPV vaccine has been front and center in the presidential debate and has hit the airwaves. In case you are not following this case, one presidential candidate has raised concerns about the safety of the HPV vaccine given to teenage girls to prevent cervical cancer. And her source: a woman she met on the campaign trail who said her daughter is mentally retarded due to the vaccine. Even though this presidential candidate admits that she personally is not a "doctor" or a "scientist", she still cites this mother's concern in the media as evidence that this HPV vaccine is dangerous! There was no followup to see if there was any truth to the mother's assertion. In my mind, what this candidate is doing IS dangerous because she is using her celebrity status to spread unsubstantiated information about a serious women's health issue!
The Institute for Women's Health Research at Northwestern U. has created this blog site as an authoritative resource for women (and men) around the globe to learn about the latest (evidence-based) research in women's health. Our sources include the leading scientific institutions around the world. We also try to put risks and benefits into perspective based on the LATEST EVIDENCE so that you can decide what is best for you. We acknowledge that science constantly evolves making it even more important the we continue to monitor the latest findings. And the internet is certainly a good way to keep up.....if you use it wisely.
The good news about this latest political gaffe, is that even the talk shows are pointing out how absurd this candidate's assumptions are. Maybe it will shed light on how important it is to find credible source for your health information. By the way, please check out our recent blog on the HPV vaccine by clicking HERE.