Viagra Increases Melanoma Risk: Study

Friday, 11 Apr 2014 03:53 PM

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Men who take Viagra could have an increased risk of developing melanoma, according to a new study.

CBS News reports that a team of researchers Harvard and Brown Universities compared the medical charts of 26,000 men to see if cancer rates differed among those who took Viagra and those who did not.
 
The results showed that men who had taken Viagra for erectile dysfunction had double the risk of developing melanoma than men who did not take the drug. Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States, and melanoma is the deadliest kind of the disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
 
Robert McLachlan, director of Andrology Australia, noted the study had limitations, and did not establish a cause-and-effect relationship between Viagra and melanoma, which is strongly linked to sun exposure.
 
"This is an observational population study — it's an association not a demonstration," he told CBS. "The drug may also tickle up those early melanoma cancer cells to go feral."
 
McLachlan added that more research is needed.
 
"The message is that we know a lot about melanoma and how not to get them and it all boils down to lifestyle from an early age and onwards," he said. "Whilst this is an interesting observation, the real issue is that it's a disease that starts way back in childhood. Sunsmart approaches are the most important thing to consider."
 
The study was published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.

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