Tags: viagra | melanoma | risk | cancer

Viagra Melanoma: Does Erectile Dysfunction Drug Up Risk of Skin Cancer?

Image: Viagra Melanoma: Does Erectile Dysfunction Drug Up Risk of Skin Cancer?

By    |   Thursday, 05 Jun 2014 01:39 PM

Men taking Viagra may have an increased risk of developing skin cancers like melanoma, a recent study found.

The study, published in JAMA Internal Medicine this month, tracked 26,000 men taking Viagra, looking at their sun exposure, genetic cancer risks, and incidents of skin cancer, including melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and basal cell carcinoma.

Researchers found that men on the little blue pill are nearly twice as likely to develop melanoma than men not taking the erectile dysfunction drug, CBS News reported.

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The study said that Viagra, or sildenafil citrate, changes the levels of PDE5A, a protein-coding gene, which has been associated with increasing the invasiveness of melanoma cells.

"Sildenafil use may be associated with an increased risk of developing melanoma," the study concluded. "Although this study is insufficient to alter clinical recommendations, we support a need for continued investigation of this association."

The news that Viagra might increase melanoma risk didn't seem bother some who commented on the CBS story.

"I'm going to end up in a (sic) urn one way or the other and I'd just a soon continue to have some fun with the ladies as I age so bring on the Viagra," one user wrote.

On PubMed, one doctor commented and wondered whether two other similar medications on the market — Cialis and Levitra — might also be included in future studies to determine if there's a "class effect."

Daniel Pendick of Harvard Men’s Health Watch also cautioned that this study is a preliminary finding and will require more research. He broke the study down into easily understood chunks to discuss the question of whether men taking Viagra should be worried.

"This study does not show that Viagra causes skin cancer," Pendick wrote, noting that the data reflect merely a connection.

Quoting a Harvard doctor, Pendick said men should protect their skin from the sun and have routine skin cancer checkups.

"The findings . . . need to be replicated in other groups of men before sounding any warning bells," Pendick wrote.

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Men taking Viagra may have an increased risk of developing skin cancers like melanoma, a recent study found.
viagra, melanoma, risk, cancer
363
2014-39-05
Thursday, 05 Jun 2014 01:39 PM
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