You’ll probably agree that the side effects of some meds are worse than the ailment they’re supposed to treat.
Unfortunately, one extremely popular medication used to treat erectile dysfunction is now suspected of being a carcinogen.
A recent study suggests there may be an increased risk of deadly melanoma skin cancer among men who’ve taken sildenafil citrate, known mainly by the brand name Viagra®! Here’s the story. . .
Toxic chemical condemned 8 men to die
John S. watched helplessly as 7 of his Vietnam platoon buddies died of prostate cancer, one by one. They were exposed to chemicals during the war that caused them to get cancer when they reached middle age. Then, in 2002, John found out it was his turn. He got opinions from three different doctors and they all told him the same thing: he’d need a miracle to survive.
John found the miracle he needed. Four years after his diagnosis, he told us, “I am healthy and happy with no symptoms of the disease.” He actually wishes he’d gotten the disease sooner so he could have told his Army buddies this secret. It might have saved their lives.
We’re ALL exposed every day to chemicals similar to the ones that killed these veterans. A man is just about certain to get prostate cancer if he lives long enough. That means John’s life-saving secret is big news for men everywhere. Click here and keep reading. . .
Although there’s limited evidence to prove a link…a national law firm is paying close attention to the research and investigation of these claims—which means they probably smell blood.
The firm Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough is investigating a potential lawsuit that hinges on preliminary study findings published in JAMA Internal Medicine.
Dr. Abrar Qureshi, professor and chair of the dermatology department in the Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University, co-authored the study. His group found that men who took sildenafil were about 84 percent more likely to develop melanoma than men who didn’t take the drug.
Although the researchers aren’t recommending that men should stop taking Viagra—they are suggesting that they talk with their doctors about getting check-ups for skin cancer.
Disturbing trends uncovered in study data…
Dr. Qureshi and several colleagues at sites in the U.S. and China analyzed data gathered from nearly 26,000 men from the Health Professionals’ Follow-up Study—a long-term study of male doctors and other health care workers.
The study began in 1986 when about 52,000 male health professionals completed a questionnaire on their medical history and lifestyle practices. This included questions about about Viagra use and skin cancer.
Participants were between 40 and 75 years old at the beginning of the study. They were asked to update their information every two years thereafter by completing additional questionnaires.
About six percent of the men studied had taken Viagra to treat erectile dysfunction.
The researchers found that men who had used Viagra at any time had a 92 percent risk of developing melanoma compared to men who never used the drug. Further, the data showed that recent use of the drug increased melanoma risk by 84 percent.
This elevated risk held true even when adjustments were made for:
Study researchers who tracked the men until 2010 discovered that 142 men developed melanoma.
What’s more, another 3,610 participants developed non-melanoma skin cancer, such as basal cell or squamous cell skin cancer.
The investigators found no link between erectile dysfunction itself and an increased melanoma risk. This would indicate that the drug—not the condition the drug is meant to treat—is the link.
It may not be the deadliest cancer but…
Melanoma CAN kill! According to The American Cancer Society (ACS), melanoma accounts for about 10,000 of the nearly 13,000 skin cancer deaths each year.
This form of cancer begins in the melanocyte cells that produce the skin coloring called melanin. This pigment helps protect the deeper layers of the skin from the harmful effects of the sun.
When detected in its early stages, melanoma is almost always curable. But it’s far more aggressive than other skin cancers, which is why it causes more deaths than other skin cancers. In contrast, death (or even serious illness) from basal cell carcinoma is rare, and BCC is by far the most common type of skin cancer.
So what’s the connection between the little ‘blue pill’ and skin cancer? The researchers suspect that Viagra may increase melanoma risk because it affects the same genetic path that allows the cancer to become more invasive.
While melanoma isn’t the deadliest cancer you could have—you might understand the concern considering that some 25 million men have taken Viagra since its 1998 approval by the Food and Drug Administration!
Remember, the latest research suggests that men who took the prescription drug at any time could raise their risk for melanoma by 92 percent. But also remember, the risk of death from melanoma is relatively low in the first place, so even a near-doubling – while not good news – is not a cause for panic.
Still, the odds are such that many men may choose not to seek a libido lift from the medication.
Commenting on the findings in a MedPage Today article, Ryan Sullivan, MD of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, said the link between Viagra and the deadly skin cancer may be plausible.
But he also cautioned there’s still “a lot of work that needs to be done before we can definitively say that drugs for erectile dysfunction cause melanoma.”
Sullivan adds that if the relationship is proven to exist, the melanoma risk probably applies to ALL drugs in the sildenafil drug class.
The study authors agree with Dr. Sullivan that their findings are not final proof of a link between Viagra and melanoma cancer. They said, “A longer follow-up and more detailed assessment of the dose and frequency of sildenafil use at multiple times in the [study cohort] would be necessary for future studies.”
It’s hazardous to jump to conclusions based on correlations between two factors like this. It often turns out there’s no connection. While the study authors tried to control for UV ray exposure, I wonder if men who use Viagra are more likely to be party animals who make a point of working on their tan. If that’s the case, the higher melanoma risk may simply reflect higher sun exposure.
Our last issue suggested a delicious food that can help you avoid or treat cancer, whatever the cause. Take a look here if you missed this news.
Lee Euler, Publisher
Aleccia, J. 2014, April 7. Viagra may boost risk of deadly skin cancer, study finds. NBC News. Article retrieved from http://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/viagra-may-boost-risk-deadly-skin-cancer-study-finds-n73976
American Cancer Society. 2012. Skin cancer facts. Available online at http://www.cancer.org/Cancer/CancerCauses/SunandUVExposure/skin-cancer-facts
Bankhead, C. 2014, June 4. Viagra frisky might be melanoma risky. MedPage Today. Retrieved from http://www.medpagetoday.com/HematologyOncology/SkinCancer/46153
Daniel, M. 2014, Aug. 12. Study links Viagra to skin cancer: National Law Firm Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough Investigates Potential Lawsuits. Market Watch newswire. Release available at http://www.marketwatch.com/story/study-links-viagrar-to-skin-cancer-2014-08-12
Li W, Qureshi AA, Robinson KC, Han J. Sildenafil Use and Increased Risk of Incident Melanoma in US Men: A Prospective Cohort Study. JAMA Intern Med. 2014;174(6):964-970. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.594. Abstract available at http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleID=1857095
Rapposelli, D. 2014, June 6. Viagra linked to melanoma skin cancer risk. Bottom Line Publications. Retrieved from http://www.bottomlinepublications.com/content/article/health-a-healing/viagra-linked-to-melanoma-skin-cancer-risk