Viagra Skin Cancer Lawsuit Filed in IllinoisDecember 12, 2014 — Courthouse News reports that a man who was diagnosed with skin cancer after taking Viagra has filed a lawsuit against Pfizer for failing to warn about the side effect.

The plaintiff, Edward Corboy Jr., filed the lawsuit in Cook County Court. He says he started taking Viagra to treat erectile dysfunction in 2008. In December 2012, he developed a mole on his neck and was diagnosed with melanoma, a highly-aggressive form of skin cancer, which had to be surgically removed.

The lawsuit cites a medical study published by the medical journal JAMA Internal Medicine, which found an 84% increased risk of melanoma associated with the recent use of Viagra. The study was conducted by researchers from Harvard Medical School.

The study did not prove that Viagra causes skin cancer, but the researchers theorize that it could increase the invasiveness of cancerous cells. In humans, most cases of skin cancer are regulated by the BRAF protein, which inhibits the cancer-fighting protein PDE5A. Viagra works by inhibiting PDE5A.

Corboy says he never would have used Viagra if he had known about the risk of skin cancer.

Evidence linking Viagra and cancer also raises serious concerns about whether its benefits outweigh the risks. The problem is that Viagra does not actually cure any disease. If more studies confirm a link between Viagra and cancer, the risk of death from melanoma skin cancer could outweigh the benefit of temporarily treating erectile dysfunction.

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