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Viagra melanoma: Little blue pill may increase cancer risk, 26K men in study

A potential Viagra melanoma link in connection with cancer has been discovered recently via a new study conducted at the Harvard School of Public Health. The research survey, which involved roughly 26,000 men here in the U.S., has shown that the little blue pill used to treat erectile dysfunction may have some harmful side effects, including an increased risk of forming malignant melanomas over time. WTSP News provides the compelling details found in the breaking study this Thursday, June 5, and the implications these findings might have to men already prone to skin cancer that are using the performance drug.

Viagra and melanoma link possibly found with that of cancer
Wikimedia Commons

Although those that use Viagra may only be thinking of the drug when it comes to spending time in the bedroom, a possible correlation between the little blue pill and melanomas — a malignant tumor of melanocytes — while out in the sun has now been brought to light. The informative study, published this 2014 in the Jama Internal Medicine Journal, has discovered that Viagra (sometimes also referred to as sildenafil) could increase a man’s risk of developing a cancerous melanoma by up to 84 percent.

This shocking research was not simply conducted on a small number of men qualified to take the performance enhancing drug, either. The new study reviewed results obtained from almost 26,000 men that participated in the Health Professional Follow-Up Survey, offered by the Harvard School of Public Health.

It was CBS News who offered a greater look into this Viagra melanoma link and the study itself this morning via their inside report. Initiated 14 years ago back in 2000, the researchers interviewed the thousands of men who participated in the adult survey. The male subjects were asked a variety of questions, including that of sexual health and sexual history, their previous use of Viagra, and finally their relative time spent in the sun along with genetic skin cancer risk or past experience with melanomas. From there, the health experts then used science to track which types — if any — skin cancers the men who participated in the questionnaires experienced over the course of ten years.

Among the 26,000 men in the study, researchers in the study marked down the arrival or appearance of men who used Viagra and eventually developed malignant melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, or squamos cell carcinoma. According to the recently published findings in the journal, a total of 142 melanoma cases of melanoma were found, 3,030 cases of basal cell carcinoma, and 580 instances of squamos cell carcinoma.

Perhaps the most astonishing statistic gathered from the venture was that men who used Viagra were at an almost doubled risk for developing melanoma. However, it is important to note that a connection between the little blue pill and other skin cancers was not concretely evidenced via the experiment. Furthermore, no proof of erectile dysfunction being a base risk for melanoma development was found in the study either.

Overall, these findings demonstrate that a Viagra melanoma correlation likely exists, though it is incorrect to say that sildenafil actually “causes” skin cancer or melanoma growth. Investigators hope to research this possible linkage further, and ultimately advise men who use the little blue pill to take caution for their health when out in the sun frequently by using sunscreen and wearing a hat.