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‘This Shot Can Save Your Life!’ (Or Can It?): Framing of the HPV Vaccine in Teen, Parenting, and Women’s Magazines
Unformatted Document Text:  ‘This Shot Can Save Your Life!’ (Or Can It?): Framing of the HPV Vaccine in Teen, Parenting, and Women’s Magazines that there is “good news: a new vaccine [that] can keep you safe.” 58 Articles repeat that though HPV and the resulting cervical cancer, because the two are inextricably linked in most of these articles, are often an “invisible disease,” because they have few if any symptoms. But the articles would counter that though these statistics and statements may be “shocking,” “alarming,” and “scary,” 59 – and true – there is no reason to “wig out,” 60 thanks to the new vaccine. Says one woman in a letter to the editor after an HPV-related scare during which precancerous cells were removed from her cervix, “I got the Gardasil vaccine, which prevents four dangerous types of HPV, two of which are linked to cervical cancer. But at least I’m finally healthy.” 61 In an article entitled “The Facts about the HPV Vaccine,” Self magazine offered four “myths” about the vaccine and then quotes from medical professionals countering the statements. For instance, one “myth” was that “Cervical cancer is easy to detect and treat.” The counterargument began by saying that while most precancerous HPV infections can be detected through regular Pap smears,” screening can’t catch them all. This was followed by a quote from a doctor who states: “The only treatments for invasive cervical cancer are radical hysterectomy or radiation therapy, which scars the vagina and can render you sterile.” 62 While the counter statements are factually accurate, they are oversimplistic, misleading, and could be seen as designed to frighten the reader. Invasive cervical cancer is extremely rare in women under 20, with the average age of diagnosis being 48 (beyond the typical childbearing years), 63 and 60 to 80 percent of the cases of newly diagnosed invasive cervical cancer have been found in women who have not had a Pap smear in more than five years or have never had a Pap smear, according to the American Cancer Society. 64 One teen magazine offered an appeal from 15-year-old Holly:

Authors: Lepre, Carolyn.
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‘This Shot Can Save Your Life!’ (Or Can It?): Framing of the HPV Vaccine in Teen, Parenting, 
and Women’s Magazines
that there is “good news: a new vaccine [that] can keep you safe.”
 Articles repeat that though 
HPV and the resulting cervical cancer, because the two are inextricably linked in most of these 
articles, are often an “invisible disease,” because they have few if any symptoms. But the articles 
would counter that though these statistics and statements may be “shocking,” “alarming,” and 
 – and true – there is no reason to “wig out,”
 thanks to the new vaccine.  Says one 
woman in a letter to the editor after an HPV-related scare during which precancerous cells were 
removed from her cervix, “I got the Gardasil vaccine, which prevents four dangerous types of 
HPV, two of which are linked to cervical cancer. But at least I’m finally healthy.”
In an article entitled “The Facts about the HPV Vaccine,” Self magazine offered four 
“myths” about the vaccine and then quotes from medical professionals countering the statements. 
For instance, one “myth” was that “Cervical cancer is easy to detect and treat.” The 
counterargument began by saying that while most precancerous HPV infections can be detected 
through regular Pap smears,” screening can’t catch them all. This was followed by a quote from 
a doctor who states: “The only treatments for invasive cervical cancer are radical hysterectomy 
or radiation therapy, which scars the vagina and can render you sterile.”
 While the counter 
statements are factually accurate, they are oversimplistic, misleading, and could be seen as 
designed to frighten the reader. Invasive cervical cancer is extremely rare in women under 20, 
with the average age of diagnosis being 48 (beyond the typical childbearing years),
 and 60 to 
80 percent of the cases of newly diagnosed invasive cervical cancer have been found in women 
who have not had a Pap smear in more than five years or have never had a Pap smear, according 
to the American Cancer Society.
One teen magazine offered an appeal from 15-year-old Holly:

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