Viagra Increases the Risk of Malignant Melanoma

Melanoma is an aggressive form of skin cancer that kills nearly 10,000 Americans a year. The widespread use of tanning beds has increased the risk of the disease. Stacy Loeb from New York University, and colleagues, found that use of the erection-promoting drug Viagra (sildenafil) increased the risk of the deadly disease by 20 to 80 percent. There was no association in men with multiple prescriptions, so there is some doubt whether Viagra actually caused the disease. Erectile dysfunction affects more than 300 million men worldwide, and Viagra is the drug of choice for many patients. Men taking these drugs should be particularly careful to use sunscreens, wear hats and avoid overexposure to the sun. (Journal of American Medical Association, 313: 2449-2455, 2015)

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