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Viagra May Promote Skin Cancer

Viagra May Promote Skin Cancer
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By    |   Tuesday, 15 March 2016 03:40 PM

Viagra raises more than your libido. New research suggests the erectile dysfunction drug, also known as sildenafil, may raise the risk of developing melanoma.

The study, led by Robert Feil from the University of Tübingen in Germany and published in the journal Cell Reports, indicates the drug actually stimulates skin tumors to grow, he researchers, Medical News Today reports.

Viagra is part of a class of medicines called phosphodiesterase (PDE) inhibitors that and treats erectile dysfunction (ED) by increasing blood flow to the penis.

But Feil explains that he and his team have discovered that sildenafil also appears to disable the body’s ability to target and block the growth of skin cancer cells – allowing melanoma to grow more robustly.

The researchers say this mechanism could explain the increased risk of melanoma studies have turned up in men who take sildenafil.

In 2014, for example, a long-term study involving 15,000 men in the U.S. suggested a link between higher risk of malignant melanoma and sildenafil use. In 2015, another study in 24,000 men in Sweden found this same correlation.

Although the latest findings are troubling, Feil said there is no reason that men should refrain from taking Viagra from time to time, as it is unlikely that the drug makes new cancers form.

"We are assuming that sildenafil and possibly other [drugs] could first and foremost reinforce the growth of existing melanomas -- particularly if these medications are taken frequently and in high dosages," he said.

"Ultimately, we should all be thinking about reducing our risk of skin cancer and cutting our exposure time to the sun, as well as using effective UV protection."

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Viagra, also known as sildenafil, may raise the risk of developing melanoma, according to a new German study.
viagra, skin, cancer, erection, sex
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2016-40-15
Tuesday, 15 March 2016 03:40 PM
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