Popular impotence drugs such as Viagra could put users at an increased risk of developing skin cancers like melanoma, according to a recent US study.
Published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, the report 'Sildenafil Use and Increased Risk of Incident Melanoma in US Men' sights the way the drugs work as a concern in increasing the risk of skin cancer.
Researchers tested close to 26,000 men who disclosed in 2000 that they used drugs for erectile dysfunction. At the time, none of the men were at risk of cancer. However, between 2000 and 2010 researchers found the men who took Viagra were at nearly twice the risk of developing the disease.
Less than 11,000 had used Viagra and of those just 14 per cent developed melanoma which means more research was needed to prove the connection.
Drugs like Viagra block the PDE5 enzyme, which helps to relax muscles in the penis and cause an erection. The same enzyme was the focus of the investigation in the metastasis of melanoma cells and is the target of melanoma drugs. It was this revelation that prompted researchers to search for any link between these two factors in patients.
''Our study cannot prove cause and effect,'' the researchers said.
''Nevertheless, our data provide epidemiological evidence on possible skin adverse effects of PDE5A inhibitors and support continued investigation of this relationship."
There were around 16,000 prescriptions for Viagra in the last financial year, however, there are many illegitimate online sources which also sell the drug.
Possible medical negligence
Although the link between impotence drugs and melanoma cancer hasn't been proven, this research does highlight the importance of reporting any side affects of drugs that weren't pointed out by your medical team and could cause real harm.
As soon as you are well enough, victims are urged to contact a medical negligence lawyer that can determine whether you have a claim or not.
Medical negligence claims can entitle you to a wide number of different compensation packages. This can include compensation for economic losses such as loss of wages and superannuation.
You can also claim for costs of past and future care that you have needed since your injuries. These types of claims are usually very complex, so it is suggested that you seek legal advice from a lawyer.
Call our expert medical negligence lawyers today for free over-the-phone advice on our Free Call Number, 1800 004 878.