Viagra Does Not Cause Melanoma, According to Study

Viagra Does Not Cause Melanoma, According to Study
A thorough assessment of over 20,000 medical records revealed that erectile dysfunction drugs like Viagra do not cause melanoma despite the elevated risk for the disease among those who use such drugs. The report was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
The study was conducted by scientists at the NYU Langone Medical Center and Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Cancer Center; medical records from 20,235 white men mainly suggested that malignant melanoma risk among individuals using erectile dysfunction drugs was based on socioeconomic and lifestyle habits.
“What our study results show is that groups of men who are more likely to get malignant melanoma include those with higher disposable incomes and education—men who likely can also afford more vacations in the sun—and who also have the means to buy erectile dysfunction medications, which are very expensive,” noted lead study investigator Stacy Loeb. “While medications for erectile dysfunction come with serious risk of a drop in blood pressure if taken together with other medicines called nitrates, overall they are safe medications, and our results suggest that physicians should not be concerned that the drugs cause melanoma,” Loeb explained. “Physicians should still screen men for melanoma risk, but they do not need to add use of erectile dysfunction drugs to their list of screening criteria.”
Between 2006 and 2012, 20,000 men had their records studied and 4,065 had malignant melanoma; A total of 2,148 used one of the 3 principal drugs for erectile dysfunction [Viagra (or sildenafil), Levitra (vardenafil), and Cialis (tadalafil)] and among those, 435 had developed skin cancer.
Researchers observed an increased risk of malignant melanoma development among individuals who are erectile dysfunction drug users (an additional 21 percent risk for having filled a single prescription), however, a closer look at the numbers revealed no increased risk among men with the most prescriptions. No correlation was found between more developed stages of the disease and drug usage.
“When used appropriately, erectile dysfunction medications are very effective and improve the quality of life for many men, so men should know it is doubtful that taking these medications puts them at greater risk of getting skin cancer,” noted Loeb.

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