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Viagra Linked to Increased Risk of Skin Cancer

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Use of Viagra is linked to an increased risk of a form of skin cancer, according to a study published online in April in Jama Internal Medicine.

Viagra (sildenafil) was associated with an increased risk for melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer. These cancerous growths grow when unrepaired DNA damage to skin cells triggers genetic defects that lead the skin cells to multiply quickly and form malignant tumors, SkinCancer.org reported. About one person dies every hour in the U.S. due to Melanoma.  

The study could make men think twice before taking the popular erectile dysfunction (ED) pill. Viagra, which is manufactured by Pfizer Inc., is marked for men looking to improve sexual drive and performance.

Men who used Viagra were found to be 84 percent likelier to be diagnosed to Melanoma, according to the study.

Wen-Qing Li, PhD, of the Department of Dermatology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Harvard Medical School and a team of researchers directed a prospective cohort study of participants in the Health Professionals’ Follow-up Study (HPFS) between 2000 and 2010, according to MedScape.com. Their analysis included data on 25,848 men.

HPFS participants were asked whether they were being treated for or had previously been treated for ED. The results showed that 5.3% of the men reported taking Viagra in the previous 3 months and 6.3% reported ever taking the pill. Researchers found that the men in that group were more likely to be older, obese and to have a history of severe or blistering sunburns, compared to the entire HPFS cohort, MedScape.com reported.

Some of the findings were in line with previous reports. HPFS participants reported diagnoses of melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), and basal cell carcinoma (BCC) in biennial surveys since 1986, MedScape.com reported. During follow-up between 2000 and 2010, the researchers found 142 cases of melanoma, 580 cases of SCC, and 3030 cases of BCC.

Those who had recently taken Viagra were significantly more likely to be diagnosed with invasive melanoma than nonusers in a study adjusted for multiple variables. Those who used Viagra at any time also had an increased risk for melanoma.

In an effort to eliminate outside factors, the researchers adjusted their analyses for “age, body mass index, tobacco use, physical activity, and childhood reaction to sun, plus melanoma risk factors, such as mole count, hair color, and family history,” MedScape.com reported.

The study was deemed necessary after previous studies found that phosphodiesterase 5A (PDE5A) inhibitors, including Viagra, may promote melanin synthesis, which may also promote melanoma development. In addition, published research has linked Viagra other PDG5A inhibitors to promotion of melanoma cell invasion.

breakinglawsuitnews.com disclaimer: This article: Viagra Linked to Increased Risk of Skin Cancer was posted on Friday, September 12th, 2014 at 3:10 pm at breakinglawsuitnews.com and is filed under Defective Drug Lawsuits.

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