Viagra Increases Skin Cancer Risk

Posted: Jun 24 2015, 8:50am CDT | by , Updated: Jun 24 2015, 9:03am CDT, in News | Misc

Erectile Dysfunction Drugs May Increase Skin Cancer Risk
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  • Researchers say Viagra use could lead to skin cancer

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Viagra use could increase the risk to developing skin cancer among men who are prescribed to the drugs for erectile dysfunction.

Viagra was formulated by pharmaceutical company Pfizer and was launched as a sex-enhancing medication in Britain in 1999. It has been hailed as a miracle drug and millions of men around the world use it for erectile dysfunction.

A study of over 4,000 men in Sweden who were prescribed a single course of the drugs were one third more likely to develop a malignant melanoma while those who are prescribed to multiple dosage are at 20 percent more risk to develop the cancerous cells.

Millions of men who use Viagra and similar drugs for erectile dysfunction could be at greater risk of developing skin cancer, researchers have warned. Although the odds might seem little but they are still higher at a one to 25 rate compared to the one to 33 risk rate. The researchers from University of New York have laid emphasis to the significance of the statistics.

Drugs like Viagra and Cialis work by inhibiting the function of the enzyme PDE5. PDE5 works by limiting the blood supply which falters the erection after sex. Viagra works by inhibiting the function and retaining the erection for longer.

Scientists however think that malignant melanoma is fueled by a faulty gene called BRAF which suppresses the enzyme. They have suggested that PDE5 plays an important role in preventing the spread of skin cancer.

How could Viagra be effecting PDE5 then? Viagra, and drugs like it are suspected of mimicking the effect of the mutated BRAF gene. Hence suppressing the PDE5 could be leading to the susceptibility of the men towards developing skin cancer.

“The use of PDE5 inhibitors was associated with a modest but significant increased risk of malignant melanoma,” said Dr Stacy Loeb of New York University (via Telegraph).

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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