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Viagra Linked to 84% Increased Risk of Melanoma Skin Cancer

Viagra Linked to 84% Increased Risk of Melanoma Skin Cancer

June 10, 2014 — JAMA Internal Medicine has published a study linking the use of Viagra (sildenafil) to an 84% increased risk of melanoma (skin cancer).

The results of the study were based on data from a total of 25,848 men who participated in the Health Professional’s Follow-Up Study at the Harvard School of Public Health.

The men were asked about risk-factors for skin cancer, such as sun exposure and family history. Between 2000 and 2010, researchers tracked the incidence of three types of skin cancer: melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and basal cell carcinoma.

At the end of the study, there were thousands of cases of skin cancer:

  • 142 cases of melanoma
  • 580 cases of squamous cell carcinoma
  • 3,030 cases of basal cell carcinoma.

The multivariate-adjusted hazard ratio linked Viagra to a doubled risk of melanoma, but not the other types of skin cancer. Erectile dysfunction was not a risk-factor for melanoma.

Researchers are unsure how Viagra could cause skin cancer. The disease is very complex. However, most human melanomas occur on a pathway that is regulated by a protein called BRAF, which inhibits the same protein-coding enzyme (PDE5A) that Viagra inhibits. Studies have shown that increasing PDE5A decreases the ability of cancer cells to invade and metastasize; conversely, inhibiting PDE5A may increase the risk of melanoma.

The authors of the study cautioned that it does not prove Viagra causes melanoma, and more research is needed to investigate the association. However, they warned that Viagra could increase the invasiveness of melanoma cells, which raises the possible adverse effect of Viagra use on melanoma risk.

Do I have a Viagra Lawsuit?

The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting Viagra induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know has been injured by melanoma, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Defective Drug Litigation Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.

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