"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Erectile Dysfunction Drugs and Skin Cancer – Should You Be Worried?

a study Published in JAMA Internal Medicine In 2014 It found that men who used the erectile dysfunction drug sildenafil (Viagra) were 84 percent more more likely to develop melanoma, probably the most dangerous type of skin cancer, over a 10-year period.

This finding makes for an attention-grabbing headline. But that is what I might call a real lie: a scientifically correct statement that might easily be mistaken to mean “that little blue pill gives you deadly skin cancer.”

Here are two truths about this job you could know. 1) This study doesn’t show that Viagra reasons Skin cancer. Instead, it showed that in a big group of men, those that said they used Viagra were more more likely to be diagnosed with melanoma than those that didn’t use the drug. Studies show that a Connection, not a reason. 2). Even if Viagra promotes melanoma, absolutely the increase is small.

But they needs to be concerned about melanoma.

Risky business

The study stems from laboratory research into how Viagra works on cell-to-cell signaling pathways. The work showed that the drug mimics key parts of a process that enables melanoma cells to spread to other parts of the body. Skin cancer that spreads (metastasizes) is difficult to manage and may be fatal.

Over the subsequent decade, of 29,929 men who said they’d never used Viagra, 128 developed melanoma. Of 1,618 Viagra users, 14 developed melanoma. In other words, 4.3 out of each 1,000 men who didn't take Viagra developed melanoma, in comparison with 8.6 out of each 1,000 men who took Viagra.

After statistical adjustment, the rise from 4.3 to eight.6 is the 84% increase in risk that many news stories have focused on. Researchers call this relative risk (one group in comparison with one other). The absolute increase, 4.3 cases per 1,000 men, represents a 0.43 percent increase.

It isn’t known whether an identical relationship exists between other erectile dysfunction drugs and melanoma. In 2000, when the study was conducted, Viagra was the one erectile dysfunction drug in the marketplace. Tadalafil (Cialis) and Vardenafil (Levitra) weren’t approved until 2003, while Avanafil (Stendra) got here in the marketplace in 2012.

How dangerous is that this business?

The raw numbers suggest that the danger of melanoma related to Viagra could be very low—considered one of the aspects that Dr. Tsao said “needs to be considered” when weighing the study's significance. This is even smaller than the study reported because not all the 14 cancers within the Viagra group might be attributed to the drug. Many aspects affect a person's risk of melanoma—a very powerful of that are age and overall exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation.

Should you be nervous?

Should men who use Viagra worry about getting melanoma? No one can say yet. This relationship could also be purely coincidental. Epidemiological studies like this only let you know who’s on the crime scene, not who committed it. Results of JAMA Internal Medicine The study must be replicated in other groups of men before alarm bells may be sounded.

In the meantime, Dr. Tsao offers men some quick advice: Protect your skin from an excessive amount of sun and get regular skin exams to detect melanoma and other sorts of skin cancer early, while they're still susceptible. There are treatments.

This is particularly essential for older men, who’ve the next risk of developing melanoma and the next risk of dying from it. An estimated 76,000 Americans (greater than half of them men) will probably be diagnosed with melanoma this yr, and about 10,000 will die from it.

In short, be afraid—but not of Viagra. Be concerned about excessive sun exposure and be careful for strange-looking moles which will turn into metastatic cancer. Cover up whenever you go outside, and use broad-spectrum sunscreen liberally whenever you exit within the sun to work and play.