Viagra Could Spike Growth of Skin Cancer

MARCH 10, 2016
Amy Jacob
Popular erectile dysfunction drug sildenafil (Viagra/Pfizer) may stimulate the growth of skin tumors.
 
Robert Feil, PhD, University of Tübingen, and colleagues conducted animal experiments and human cell cultures that found sildenafil impacted the messenger molecule cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) – promoting the growth of existing malignant melanomas.
 
“We have discovered that the cells of malignant melanoma also use the cGMP signaling pathway for their growth,” Feil said in a news release. “Normally, cells contain an enzyme – phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) – which ensures that newly-formed cGMP is continuously broken down. PDE5 is like a brake on cGMP. Taking sildenafil basically disables this brake.”
 
With the “brake” disabled, melanoma being to grow more vigorously, increasing the risk of skin cancer in male blue pill users.
 
Prior studies had assessed the potential link between sildenafil and cancer – particularly malignant melanoma. While two recent studies confirmed the relationship, neither studied were able to address whether the increased risk of melanoma was a result of biological effects the drug had on tumor cells.
 
Furthermore, the previous studies were unable to disregard the possibility that a higher incidence of skin cancer in men who use sildenafil could directly correlate to their sunbathing and solarium-visiting lifestyles.
 
As such, Feil and colleagues don’t believe men should completely refrain from occasionally using PDE5 inhibitors for erectile dysfunction, since it’s unlikely the drug leads to the formation of new cancers.
 
“We are assuming that sildenafil and possibly other PDE5 inhibitors could first and foremost reinforce the growth of existing melanomas – particularly if these medications are taken frequently and in high dosages,” concluded the authors.


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