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Does Cell Phone Use Increase Your Risk of Brain Cancer?

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Questions about the dangers of cell phone use have made their way through the media. Since the causes of brain cancer are not known, it would make sense that an electronic device that emits signals might have an impact on your brain.

Brain cancer can be scary to deal with: as a daughter of a brain cancer patient, I have seen the difficult treatments that my mother has gone through. However, a study conducted by London's Institute of Cancer Research showed that there is no risk of developing brain cancer from cell phone usage.

The study investigated 966 brain cancer patients, and showed that there was no risk of gliomas, a serious type of brain cancer, when using a cell phone over time. All aspects of cell phone use were examined: the amount of time since the first occasion that the cell phone was used, the number of years that the person used a cell phone, the cumulative number of calls and the hours of use.

As part of the study, the type of cell phone used was also analyzed. Earlier cell phones emitted analog signals. Analog cell phones have a higher power output compared to current digital phones. However, despite the increased emission from analog cell phones, users still did not have an increased risk of developing brain cancer.

So the good news is that you can use your cell phone without having to worry about cancer. However, while this study debunks the link between brain cancer and cell phones, you still should be careful. Radiation can still be emitted from a cell phone, which is hypothesized to cause health risks.

The University of Pittsburgh's Center for Environmental Oncology recommends utilizing the speakerphone option or a headset when using your cell phone. In addition, avoid putting your cell phone in your pocket or on a belt clip. Most likely, more research will be done on the radiation emission from cell phones, and whether this results in any health problems.

Elizabeth Stannard Gromisch received her bachelor’s of science degree in neuroscience from Trinity College in Hartford, CT in May 2009. She is the Hartford Women's Health Examiner.

Add a Comment3 Comments

There are written so much articles and books about it lately... Of course it may increase the risk of brain cancer. But the usage of cell phones will increase the risk as much as it will do Tv's, computers, ipods, music players and so on. I mean all modern technique may increase the risk of this cancer. But the risk is very low. I mean there are billions of people on the earth using cell phones now. Will they stop using them? No. Never. And maybe few people from those billions will die from the brain cancer caused by cell phones... But as I have mentioned before, all technique and even unhealthy air in the streets can increase the risk of various diseases. We must just live our lives and that's all. However thanks for the really interesting article. I will be waiting for more nice ones from you in the nearest future too.


Dirk Mallson (Note: link to business site removed by EmpowHER moderator)

December 30, 2009 - 6:36am

For a few years, now, scientists have argued whether or not there is cause for concern regarding cell phone use. Technology has advanced since personal mobile phones became widely available; so, I think risks have probably decreased, accordingly.

The World Health Organization, based upon the consensus view of the scientific and medical communities, states that cancer is unlikely to be caused by cellular phones or their base stations and that reviews have found no convincing evidence for other health effects. The WHO expects to make recommendations about mobile phones in October 2009.


Mobile phone radiation and health, Wikipedia
Fact or Fiction?: Cell Phones Can Cause Brain Cancer, ScientificAmerican.com (Nov 21, 2008)

August 20, 2009 - 7:05pm
EmpowHER Guest

Dear Elizabeth,

may I suggest you dig deeper and cast your net wider? There ar some errors in your article about knowledge what causes brain cancer (radiation is only one). The other one is about using a headset. I actually measured the radiation which was high, close to or even higher then the phone body. You may want to purchase a meter like the EMF Hunter: www.osuntech.com and see for yourself. As you being a scientist I am a bit disappointed that the article creates false security, I think it is irresponsible. Not a well baked article it needs to be. You have the skill to write succinct articles so I really hope you will take on board what I said here. I trust your next article will be well researched not only well written. Unwittingly your present article is ammunition for the industry who denies the danger and the evidence (yes EVIDENCE) available but attempted to be suppressed. Using the loud speaker option 30 cm away from the phone is correct in your article.
Be well! joseph

August 20, 2009 - 4:38pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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