Does Viagra Cause Melanoma?!?!

An unusual study was performed about Viagra and Melanoma.  The survey was among patients with melanoma and if they took Viagra.  Now, the raw data showed;

“among the 29,929 men who said they had never used Viagra, 128 developed melanoma. Among the 1,618 Viagra users, 14 developed melanoma. In other words, 4.3 of every 1,000 who didn’t take Viagra developed melanoma compared to 8.6 of every 1,000 men who took Viagra.”

“After statistical adjustments, the increase from 4.3 to 8.6 is the 84% increase in risk (massaging the numbers, i.e. relative risk vs. absolute risk) that many news reports focused on. Researchers call that the relative risk (one group compared to another). The absolute increase, 4.3 cases per 1,000 men, represents an increase of 0.43%.”

Now, there is a logical explanation as follows:

” groups of men who are more likely to get malignant melanoma include those with higher disposable incomes and education — men who likely can also afford more vacations in the sun — and who also have the means to buy erectile dysfunction medications, which are very expensive.”

One group has “discovered that the cells of malignant melanoma also use the cGMP signaling pathway for their growth.” Using Viagra may inhibit the brakes for melanoma, however, no recommendations have been made to not use this medication AND there are no randomized studies that correlate this link.

Now, to summarize, if you took 1000 men with melanoma and asked if they owned a convertible car for more than 10 years in their youth, you would likely find a higher incidence in the “yes” category.  What caused the increased risk of the melanoma?  The convertible or driving around for a decade with the top down?

As always, consult with your personal physician about this medication.


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