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Viagra Study Shows Link to Skin Cancer

Posted on in Drugs

A recent Health Professional Follow-Up Study (HPFS) has found that erectile dysfunction drugs (such as Viagra) are linked to an increased risk of a dangerous type of cancer. The study showed that men who were taking Viagra were nearly 85 percent more likely to develop melanoma (a fatal type of skin cancer) than those who were not. Men who had previously taken Viagra and had ceased taking the drug were still twice as likely to develop melanoma than men who had never taken it.

The active ingredient, or clinical name for Viagra, is sildenafil. The drug, researchers found, “affects cell pathways that allow melanoma to spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body,” reports Drugwatch.com. This type of skin cancer is responsible for nearly 10,000 deaths annually in the U.S., and an estimated 76,000 cases of melanoma are diagnosed in the same time period.

This, however, has not led physicians to recommend patients cease taking Viagra if they have been on the drug for an extended period of time. Dr. Abrar Qureshi, Chairman of the Dermatology Department at Brown University, told Drugwatch.com that the study was not one that measured cause and effect, but one in which patients self-reported rates of skin cancer.

Other university journals have issued similar debates about the study, stating that while the attention-grabbing headline may be a good way to make people aware of the problem, erectile dysfunction drugs in no way are directly linked to the development of cancer in people who use them. And according to a publication from Harvard Medical School, “even if Viagra does promote melanoma, the absolute increase is small.” Regardless, men who take it should be aware of and well informed about the risks.

If you or someone you know in the greater Chicago area has developed skin cancer as a possible result of taking Viagra, you may be eligible for compensation. Do not go through it without the assistance of a defective drug attorney. Contact Newland & Newland, LLP today for a free initial consultation.

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