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There’s No Viagra-Melanoma Link, Study Shows

Men who take Viagra once again can enjoy the sun now that studies have cast doubt on earlier claims that the little blue pill increased the risk of Melanoma.

Men who’ve been steering clear of Pfizer’s iconic little blue pill because of a 2014 study that found a possible link between Viagra and an increased risk of melanoma now can breathe a huge sigh of relief. Findings from a recent meta-analysis of data from multiple studies appear to have knocked down the significance of any such association.

The study that triggered concern about a possible link between the use of sildenafil citrate, the active ingredient in Viagra, and a higher risk of melanoma was published in the June 2014 issue of “JAMA Internal Medicine,” a professional journal of the American Medical Association. That study, conducted by a team of dermatology and epidemiology researchers, looked at the incidence of skin cancers, including melanoma, among a cohort of nearly 26,000 men.

Various Skin Cancers Diagnosed

Over a 10-year period, researchers found 142 cases of melanoma, 580 cases of squamous cell skin cancer, and 3,030 cases of basal cell carcinoma. Focusing primarily on melanoma, the most virulent form of skin cancer, the research team concluded that the risk of developing the skin cancer was higher among men who had used sildenafil citrate.

In the conclusion to their study, researchers hedged their bet to some degree by noting that the study was “insufficient to alter clinical recommendations.” However, they did suggest that further studies be conducted to establish or refute their tentative findings of a link between sildenafil use and a higher risk of melanoma.

Latest Review More Comprehensive

The more recent review of relevant studies was far broader in scale than the 2014 study, analyzing data from three case-control studies and two cohort studies that collectively covered 866,049 men who used or had recently used one of the oral ED drugs, such as sildenafil. The meta-analysis was published in the May 19, 2017, issue of the “Journal of the National Cancer Institute.”

While the meta-analysis of data did detect a somewhat higher incidence of melanoma among men who used ED drugs, it ascribed this higher rate of the skin cancer to “detection bias.” As explained by writer Robert Preidt in an article posted at HealthDay.com, this bias is accounted for by the heightened health consciousness of ED drug users and their tendency to consult with their doctors more frequently than men not taking ED drugs. As a result, their melanoma or other forms of skin cancer were much more likely to be detected than would be the case among less health-conscious men.

Melanoma Is Deadliest Skin Cancer

Although protection against all forms of skin cancer is essential, melanoma is by far the most deadly form of all skin cancers. According to the American Cancer Society, more than 87,000 cases of melanoma will be diagnosed in Americans during 2017. Of these, 52,170 cases will be diagnosed in men and 34,940 in women. The ACS also reports that melanoma-related deaths in 2017 are projected to total 9,730, of which 6,380 will be men and 3,350 women.

Unlike other milder forms of skin cancer, melanoma is more likely to metastasize, spreading to other parts of the body.

Urologist Stacy Loeb, M.D., lead author of the data review, stressed the importance of continuing careful screenings for melanoma but said that doctors “do not need to add the use of Viagra and similar drugs to the list of screening criteria specifically.”

Some Are at Greater Risk

According to the Melanoma Research Foundation, roughly 90 percent of all cases of the skin cancer can be attributed to exposure to ultraviolet rays from both natural — sunlight — and artificial (indoor tanning beds) sources. As previously noted, the most recent scientific evidence refutes the existence of a causal link between the use of oral ED drugs, including Viagra, and the risk of melanoma. According to MRF, you are at a higher risk of developing melanoma if at least five of the criteria listed below apply to you:

  • People with fair skin as well as light hair and eye color have a higher risk of developing melanoma, although the skin cancer can also strike those with dark skin, hair, and eyes.
  • Exposure to ultraviolet radiation, whether from natural or artificial sources.
  • Men who are 50 and older are the demographic with the highest incidence of melanoma. However, it is the second most common cancer in teens and young adults.
  • A previous diagnosis of melanoma significantly increases the risk of a recurrence.
  • A previous diagnosis of another type of skin cancer, such as basal cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma.
  • Individuals with 50 or more moles on their bodies have a higher risk.
  • A weakened immune system from some other disorder can heighten the risk of developing melanoma.
  • A family history of melanoma.
  • Sunburns at a young age. MRF says that just one blistering sunburn at a young age doubles your chances of developing melanoma.
  • Tanning bed use.

Get ED Help and Still Enjoy the Sun

The elimination of Viagra — and other oral ED drugs — as a risk factor for the development of melanoma should ease the fears of sun-loving men who suffer from symptoms of erectile dysfunction.
With a prescription from your doctor, you can purchase the impotence medication of your choice from the local pharmacy or order the drug from a reliable online supplier, such as eDrugstore.com. If you do have a doctor’s prescription and decide to order from the website, you can fax or scan and email your prescription along with your order.

If you don’t yet have a prescription from your regular doctor and would prefer not to discuss your erection problems face to face, eDrugstore can arrange an online consultation with one of its team of licensed U.S. physicians. If your symptoms indicate a need for an ED drug and your current health and medications make the use of such a drug appropriate, eDrugstore’s doctor will authorize a prescription. To learn more about erectile dysfunction and the medications available to treat it, click below to access eDrugstore’s ED Medication Guide.



This post first appeared on Edrugstore.com Blog | Current Health News, please read the originial post: here

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There’s No Viagra-Melanoma Link, Study Shows

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