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Viagra Use Linked to Increased Risk of Developing Melanoma

Researchers have been interested in investigating the potential link between Viagra and increased risk of developing melanoma. Viagra (sildenafil) can increase the invasiveness of melanoma cells and a prospective study has been conducted to evaluate the risk among men in the United States.

The cohort was made up of 25,848 men who were questioned regarding their Viagra use for erectile dysfunction and did not report cancers at baseline. Participants submitted questionnaires biennially from 2000-2010 self-reporting melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and basal cell carcinoma (BCC). 

Throughout the ten year follow-up, 142 melanoma cases were reported, 580 cases of SCC and 3030 cases of BCC. The risk of melanoma was significantly related to Viagra use whereas risk for SCC and BCC were not associated. The authors also noted that erectile dysfunction, as a condition, was not linked to risk of skin cancers.

Dermatologists should keep this information in mind while gathering men’s medical history and treating older male patients. While this study was not enough to alter clinical recommendations for Viagra use, it provides a support for further studies.

Sources: 1, 2

Image: Tim Reckman




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