New research says that a link between one class of erectile dysfunction drugs and a risk for skin cancer. While this is new and certainly disconcerting, however, health officials advise this is nothing to be immediately concerned about.
The research has been published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The study looked at several Swedish medical records to find 4,000 cases of melanoma that had been associated with erectile dysfunction drugs like Cialis, Viagra, and Levitra.
Actually the study showed that, when compared against a control population, men who had taken these drugs could be as much as 21 percent more at risk for developing the common skin cancer.
“What our study results show is that 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,” explains lead study author Stacy Loeb.
The NYU Langone urologist goes on to say, “Men with higher socioeconomic status and income are at greater risk for developing melanoma, due to their lifestyle, which is also strongly associated with use of [erectile dysfunction] medicines. These are also very expensive, but those men are more able to afford them. And since their lifestyle may involve more travel and exposure to the sun, they may be at higher risk [for developing melanoma].”
Finally, she notes, “When used appropriately, erectile dysfunction medications are very effective and improve the quality of life for many men, so men should know it is doubtful that taking these medications puts them at greater risk of getting skin cancer.”