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Does Viagra Increase Risk for Melanoma?

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According to the latest medical research, the blockbuster erectile dysfunction drug Viagra may significantly increase men’s risk of developing melanoma. Melanoma is a lethal form of skin cancer.

texas dangeous drug attorneyViagra Medical Study: 84% Risk Increase in Melanoma

Boston researchers, found that men taking Viagra were up to 84% more likely to be diagnosed with the skin cancer when compared to men who do not use the drug. It is postulated that Viagra has a direct effect on the body’s ability to combat skin cancer.

Viagra Side Effect on Key Protein

JAMA medical journal published the study on April 7. Viagra, active chemical sildenafil citrate, reduces levels of a cancer-fighting protein called PDE5A. Reduction in PDE5A, increases the invasiveness of melanoma cells.

Viagra Cancer Mechanism

Sildenafil citrate (Viagra) is a phosphodiesterase (PDE) 5A inhibitor commonly used for erectile dysfunction. Recent studies have shown that BRAF activation down-regulates PDE5A levels, and low PDE5A expression by BRAF activation or sildenafil use increases the invasiveness of melanoma cells, which raises the possible adverse effect of sildenafil use on melanoma risk.

Study Involved Almost 26,000 Men

The study involved 25,848 men with an average age of 65, and analyzed the incidence of skin cancers including melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and basal cell carcinoma. About six percent of the men had used Viagra.

Skin cancers squamous cell carcinoma, and basal cell carcinoma risk did not increase. But, the risk of melanoma from Viagra appeared to increase 84%.

The study does not show a causal link between Viagra and melanoma, and researchers indicate that there needs to be more research before men should be warned away from the drug.

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

Pfizer Viagra Blockbuster Drug

Viagra (sildenafil citrate) was approved in 1998 and is manufactured by Pfizer. Viagra has been prescribed for over 22 million men since its initial approval by the FDA in March 1998. Pfizer, promotes Viagra as a treatment for erectile dysfunction and as a treatment for pulmonary arterial hypertension.

According to the American Cancer Society, melanoma is diagnosed in about 69,000 Americans each year and causes about 8,650 deaths annually.