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Viagra and other erectile dysfunction drugs can lower your risk of dying from colon cancer by 20%


Erectile dysfunction (ED) drugs like Viagra may increase colon cancer survival rates, according to a new study.

The researchers found that the drugs reduced the risk of premature death in colon cancer patients by nearly 20 percent.

Additionally, patients were 15 percent less likely to die from the leading cause of death from colon cancer, which is stage IV cancer that has spread throughout the body.

The team from Lund University in Sweden says ED drugs have anti-inflammatory properties as well as the ability to inhibit tumors and prevent the immune system from weakening after surgery.

Researchers at Lund University of Sweden studied colorectal cancer patients who were taking and not taking drugs for erectile dysfunction that are believed to have anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor properties (file image)

About 10% of colorectal cancer patients who took the medication died compared to 17.5% of those who did not take the medication (above).

About 10% of colorectal cancer patients who took the medication died compared to 17.5% of those who did not take the medication (above).

For the study, published in the journal Nature Communications, the team looked at a class of drugs known as phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE5) inhibitors.

They expand the tissues in the penis and increase blood flow, make erections easier, and are used to treat ED.

According to the 1994 Massachusetts Male Aging Study, ED is more common with age, affecting about 40 percent of men by the age of 40 and about 70 percent of men by the age of 70.

Treatments include lifestyle changes such as losing weight or quitting smoking, counseling or taking medications such as Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra.

Previous research, such as a 2017 study, found that ED drugs can inhibit tumor growth in mice and suppress the activity of a gene called PDE5A.

The team says previous studies suggest that colon cancer patients with lower PDE5A activity have higher survival rates.

"The available preclinical evidence suggests that PDE5 inhibitors could slow tumor growth and progression in mice," said lead author Wuqing Huang, a PhD student at Lund University, in a press release.

"However, it is not yet known whether PDE5 inhibitors can hinder the proliferation of cancer in humans. We have tried to investigate this using real medical data in Sweden."

The researchers analyzed Swedish men who were diagnosed with colon cancer between 2005 and 2014.

The drugs were found to reduce the risk of premature death from cancer by 20% and the risk of stage IV death by 15% (see above).

The drugs were found to reduce the risk of premature death from cancer by 20% and the risk of stage IV death by 15% (see above).

Of the participants, more than 11,300 were not taking any ED drug and more than 1,100 were patients.

During the four-year follow-up, only 10.2 percent of patients had died of colon cancer, compared with 17.5 percent of those who were not taking ED medication.

After considering the co-factors, the team calculated that the relative risk of death from colon cancer in patients who used the drugs was 18 percent lower.

The risk of death from metastasis, also known as stage IV – which occurs when the cancer has spread – was 15 percent lower in patients using ED drugs.

In operated patients, the risks were even lower.

Men with colon cancer who took ED drugs and had surgery had a 39 percent lower risk of premature death from colon cancer and a 31 percent lower risk of metastasis.

The researchers believe that ED drugs inhibit the immunosuppression often induced by cancer.

"The results of our study suggest that the anticancer ability of PDE5 inhibitors is related to the regulation of immunosuppressive effects," said Huang.

"However, randomized clinical trials are needed to validate our research results before PDE5 inhibitors can be used as adjuvants for men with colon cancer, as well as experiments that examine the underlying biological mechanisms."

(tagsToTranslate) Dailymail (t) Health (t) Sweden