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Study: Viagra Can Increase Risk Of Developing Skin Cancer

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Bottles of Viagra. (credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Bottles of Viagra. (credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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ATLANTA (CBS Atlanta) – According to a recent study, men who take Viagra to treat erectile dysfunction could have an increased risk of developing melanoma.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States; and melanoma is the deadliest kind of skin cancer.

Researchers from various institutions, such as Harvard and Brown Universities, analyzed data from a study of over 26,000 men to see how cancer rates compared to those who took Viagra to those who didn’t.

They found that 6 percent of the men had taken Viagra, which suggested they had double the risk of developing melanoma that the men who didn’t take the drug.

“This is an observational population study – it’s an association not a demonstration,” Professor Robert McLachlan, director of Andrology Australia, told ninemsn. “The drug may also tickle up those early melanoma cancer cells to go feral.”

McLachlan said further research is needed in order to determine a link.

“The message is that we know a lot about melanoma and how not to get them and it all boils down to lifestyle from an early age and onwards,” he added. “Whilst this is an interesting observation, the real issue is that it’s a disease that starts way back in childhood. Sunsmart approaches are the most important thing to consider.

The study was published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.

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