Transcript - Viagra - Linked to Melanoma

Researchers have found that men who used the erection-function drug Viagra were 84% more likely to develop melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, over a period of 10 years. The study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine notes that Viagra may increase the risk of melanoma because it affects the same genetic pathway that allows skin cancer to become more invasive.

The findings held true even when researchers adjusted for a family history of cancer, ultra violet light exposure, other kinds of cancer or major illnesses and other factors. Fortunately, those who took Viagra weren’t at a higher risk of other, less-dangerous skin cancers such as basal cell or squamous cell cancers. While Viagra may promote tumor growth in tumor cells, the study does not prove cause and effect.

A more detailed assessment would be necessary for future studies. It’s advised that men who have a high risk for developing melanoma touch base with their primary care provider.

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