+
More

There's A Scary Article Going Around About Your Lady Parts. It's FALSE.

MYTH: This shot that we give young girls is killing them. Here are FACTS.

For a while now, there have been a couple of terrifying articles and emails going around about the HPV vaccine.

The gist is that the vaccine is not only ineffective, but has common extreme side effects — and that the lead researcher has spoken out against the vaccine.

Background image via Thinkstock.


Let's be clear: These rumors are not true. But we'll get to that. First, what the heck is HPV?

Human papillomavirus is a virus that's been known to cause warts and is often transmitted by sexual contact. The virus is actually pretty common — about 6 million new infections occur each year in the U.S., and almost all women will have an HPV infection at some point in their life. Most of the time, the infection is no big deal, and the body fights it off naturally. But in some cases, the infection can lead to cervical cancer.

To recap, HPV is often NBD. But it can sometimes lead to cervical cancer. And cervical cancer is a big deal.

Now, back to this email full of rumors. Here's the breakdown:

With the help of Aaron from "Healthcare Triage," let's take a look at these false claims one by one.

MYTH #1: The HPV vaccine is killing people.

Based on extensive studies by the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Institute of Medicine, we can definitely say that the HPV vaccine is safe.

The vaccine was tested before it was FDA-approved, and no serious side effects were found. It underwent another safety review recently, with the same findings. The CDC has even specifically investigated certain deaths that are allegedly linked to the vaccine — no patterns have been found among the deaths, and no links have been found to the vaccination.


MYTH #2: The lead researcher has spoken out against the vaccine.

Dr. Diane Harper, one of the researchers of the HPV vaccine, has indeed said that the manufacturers of the vaccine may be overselling its cancer prevention properties. The main concern here is that no one yet knows how long the vaccine's effects will last. (Are booster shots necessary?) The vaccine hasn't been around long enough for us to know yet. But there are studies monitoring the vaccine's long-term potency. This is not a reason to not get the vaccine.

Dr. Harper has also been quoted as saying that the vaccine may not be absolutely necessary in parts of the world where pap smears are common. Pap smears screen for cervical cancer. They do not prevent cancer. Besides, plenty of women don't get pap smears regularly. And on top of that, new research has linked HPV to rectal and oral cancer, which are not detected in pap smears. Bottom line: Pap smears are great. But the HPV vaccine is still crucial.


Myth #3: The HPV vaccine does nothing to prevent cervical cancer.

Again, false. During the three years before the vaccine was introduced, the prevalence of HPV in girls ages 14-19 was 11.5%. In the three years since the vaccine was introduced, that rate fell to 5.1%. And only one-third of the girls in that age group got the vaccine! That looks pretty darn effective to me.

In fact, not only is the vaccine effective, but it's now recommended that all young people get the vaccine. Why? Because HPV causes more types of cancer than just cervical cancer. And because even if someone doesn't have a cervix, they could transmit an HPV infection to someone who does. So, vaccines all around.


As Aaron from "Healthcare Triage" says, "It's either never ever ever touch ... or get the vaccine."

Check out Aaron's full explanation in the video below.

FACT CHECK TIME! We checked our facts. Now you can check our facts, too.

  • There are 6 million new HPV infections in the U.S. each year.
  • Almost all women have an HPV infection at some point in their lifetime — men, too, actually.
  • Every year, 4,000women die of cervical cancer in the U.S.
  • Dr. Diane Harper has said that the manufacturer is overselling the HPV vaccine's abilities.
  • HPV can cause cervical cancer as well as rectal and oral cancer.
  • In the three years before the HPV was released, the prevalence of HPV in girls 14-19 was 11.5%. In the three years after the vaccine's release, that rate went down to 5.1%.
  • The CDC has investigated the safety of the vaccine and found no pattern associating the vaccination with death.
Pop Culture

Artist uses AI to create ultra realistic portraits of celebrities who left us too soon

What would certain icons look like if nothing had happened to them?

Mercury would be 76 today.

Some icons have truly left this world too early. It’s a tragedy when anyone doesn’t make it to see old age, but when it happens to a well-known public figure, it’s like a bit of their art and legacy dies with them. What might Freddie Mercury have created if he were granted the gift of long life? Bruce Lee? Princess Diana?

Their futures might be mere musings of our imagination, but thanks to a lot of creativity (and a little tech) we can now get a glimpse into what these celebrities might have looked like when they were older.

Alper Yesiltas, an Istanbul-based lawyer and photographer, created a photography series titled “As If Nothing Happened,” which features eerily realistic portraits of long gone celebrities in their golden years. To make the images as real looking as possible, Yesiltas incorporated various photo editing programs such as Adobe Lightroom and VSCO, as well as the AI photo-enhancing software Remini.

“The hardest part of the creative process for me is making the image feel ‘real’ to me,” Yesiltas wrote about his passion project. “The moment I like the most is when I think the image in front of me looks as if it was taken by a photographer.”

Yesiltas’ meticulousness paid off, because the results are uncanny.

Along with each photo, Yesiltas writes a bittersweet message “wishing” how things might have gone differently … as if nothing happened.
Keep ReadingShow less
All images provided by Adewole Adamson

It begins with more inclusive conversations at a patient level

True

Adewole Adamson, MD, of the University of Texas, Austin, aims to create more equity in health care by gathering data from more diverse populations by using artificial intelligence (AI), a type of machine learning. Dr. Adamson’s work is funded by the American Cancer Society (ACS), an organization committed to advancing health equity through research priorities, programs and services for groups who have been marginalized.

Melanoma became a particular focus for Dr. Adamson after meeting Avery Smith, who lost his wife—a Black woman—to the deadly disease.

melanoma,  melanoma for dark skin Avery Smith (left) and Adamson (sidenote)

This personal encounter, coupled with multiple conversations with Black dermatology patients, drove Dr. Adamson to a concerning discovery: as advanced as AI is at detecting possible skin cancers, it is heavily biased.

To understand this bias, it helps to first know how AI works in the early detection of skin cancer, which Dr. Adamson explains in his paper for the New England Journal of Medicine (paywall). The process uses computers that rely on sets of accumulated data to learn what healthy or unhealthy skin looks like and then create an algorithm to predict diagnoses based on those data sets.

This process, known as supervised learning, could lead to huge benefits in preventive care.

After all, early detection is key to better outcomes. The problem is that the data sets don’t include enough information about darker skin tones. As Adamson put it, “everything is viewed through a ‘white lens.’”

“If you don’t teach the algorithm with a diverse set of images, then that algorithm won’t work out in the public that is diverse,” writes Adamson in a study he co-wrote with Smith (according to a story in The Atlantic). “So there’s risk, then, for people with skin of color to fall through the cracks.”

Tragically, Smith’s wife was diagnosed with melanoma too late and paid the ultimate price for it. And she was not an anomaly—though the disease is more common for White patients, Black cancer patients are far more likely to be diagnosed at later stages, causing a notable disparity in survival rates between non-Hispanics whites (90%) and non-Hispanic blacks (66%).

As a computer scientist, Smith suspected this racial bias and reached out to Adamson, hoping a Black dermatologist would have more diverse data sets. Though Adamson didn’t have what Smith was initially looking for, this realization ignited a personal mission to investigate and reduce disparities.

Now, Adamson uses the knowledge gained through his years of research to help advance the fight for health equity. To him, that means not only gaining a wider array of data sets, but also having more conversations with patients to understand how socioeconomic status impacts the level and efficiency of care.

“At the end of the day, what matters most is how we help patients at the patient level,” Adamson told Upworthy. “And how can you do that without knowing exactly what barriers they face?”

american cancer society, skin cacner treatment"What matters most is how we help patients at the patient level."https://www.kellydavidsonstudio.com/

The American Cancer Society believes everyone deserves a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer—regardless of how much money they make, the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, gender identity, their disability status, or where they live. Inclusive tools and resources on the Health Equity section of their website can be found here. For more information about skin cancer, visit cancer.org/skincancer.

The mesmerizing lost art of darning knit fabric.

For most of human history, people had to make their own clothing by hand, and sewing skills were subsequently passed down from generation to generation. Because clothing was so time-consuming and labor-intensive to make, people also had to know how to repair clothing items that got torn or damaged in some way.

The invention of sewing and knitting machines changed the way we acquire clothing, and the skills people used to possess have largely gone by the wayside. If we get a hole in a sock nowadays, we toss it and replace it. Most of us have no idea how to darn a sock or fix a hole in any knit fabric. It's far easier for us to replace than to repair.

But there are still some among us who do have the skills to repair clothing in a way that makes it look like the rip, tear or hole never happened, and to watch them do it is mesmerizing.

Keep ReadingShow less
Joy

Nurse turns inappropriate things men say in the delivery room into ‘inspirational’ art

"Can you move to the birthing ball so I can sleep in the bed?"

Holly the delivery nurse.

After working six years as a labor and delivery nurse Holly, 30, has heard a lot of inappropriate remarks made by men while their partners are in labor. “Sometimes the moms think it’s funny—and if they think it’s funny, then I’ll laugh with them,” Holly told TODAY Parents. “But if they get upset, I’ll try to be the buffer. I’ll change the subject.”

Some of the comments are so wrong that she did something creative with them by turning them into “inspirational” quotes and setting them to “A Thousand Miles” by Vanessa Carlton on TikTok.

“Some partners are hard to live up to!” she jokingly captioned the video.

Keep ReadingShow less