Cell Phones Cause Cancer?
Are you concerned about the risk of getting cancer from long-term cell phone usage? Finally, some scientific studies assessing the link between cell phones and cancer have been conducted. The results are in, and I for one was surprised...
Cell Phones and Cancer: No Evidence
A study published today by the Journal of the National Cancer Institute should put chronic cell phone users at ease. Researchers in Denmark studied 420,000 cell phone users whose cases were followed for up to 21 years. The study focused on both men and women who began using cellular telephone service between 1982 and 1995, and followed them through 2002 for signs of cancer. The bottom line:
Researchers took advantage of the fact that Denmark maintains a national cancer registry, and correlated that to cell phone subscriber records. Statistically, they expected to find 15,000 incidences of cancer (brain tumors, acoustic neuromas, leukemias, etc.) in the group, but the number turned out to be less -- only 14,249 indicents of cancer were noted in the group.
Just to clarify, I don't mean to say they expected to find 15,000 cancers related to cell phones... I'm saying that based on medical stats they knew that in ANY group of 400,000 people, they could expect to find that many cases of cancer. If there was a definitive link between cell phones and cancer, you'd expect the numbers for this group, comprised ONLY of cell phone users, to be much higher.
But contrary to the widely-held suspicion that cell phone usage causes cancer, this study indicates a lower rate of cancer among long-term cell phone users. The study also found no link between the side of the head on which brain cancers occurred and the side on which the cellular phone was used. If you want more details on the study, you can see the facts and figures for yourself.
Other Cell Phone Studies Concur
Just in case you're inclined to dismiss this study because it was conducted in Denmark, consider the fact that other studies conducted elsewhere have drawn the same conclusion.
- Dr. Joshua Muscat, of the American Health Foundation in Valhalla NY, reported in the April 2002 issue of Neurology that use of cellular telephones does not appear to increase the risk of acoustic neuromas or benign tumors. His study focused on brain cancer patients in New York, Providence and Boston.
- Another study conducted by Dr. Peter Inskip looked at 782 hospital patients in Phoenix, Arizona, Boston and Pittsburgh. His findings, published in the January 2001 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine do not support the claim that use of cellular telephones causes brain tumors.
- The Food and Drug Administration did a study on the possible negative health effects from the low levels of electromagnetic energy emitted by mobile phones and found that the current scientific evidence did not support such a link. The FDA report cited experts who said that even if a cell phone's antenna is right up against the skull, the six-tenths of a watt of power emitted couldn't possibly affect human health. John E. Moulder, a Ph.D. cancer researcher and professor of radiation oncology at the Medical College of Wisconsin is quoted as saying that biological effects from mobile phones are "somewhere between impossible and implausible."
Have You Tried the Caveat?
Even though these studies seem to clearly debunk the "cell phone cancer" theory, it's interesting that several of the researchers mentioned that ongoing research is needed to make sure the results hold true for those who use cell phones for 10 years or more.
It makes sense to me to minimize cell phone use, and exposure to the radio waves they emit, just to be on the safe side. I find that cell phone technology still has not advanced to the point where a clear, uninterrupted conversation is possible, even when there is a strong signal. So if I have a choice, I'll pick up a conventional phone with a land line any time. If you must spend countless hours on a cell phone, consider using a headset to place more distance between the antenna and your brain.
Got comments about cell phones and health risks? Post your thoughts below...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 6 Dec 2006
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Cell Phones Cause Cancer? (Posted: 6 Dec 2006)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved