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Will My Cell Phone Cause Cancerous Brain Tumors?

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In 1999, Sharesa Price, a cell phone programmer in Northern Calif. became violently ill. Her head and eyes hurt and she couldn’t quit vomiting. Hours after a trip to her doctor Price learned she had a brain tumor. In 2005, she became the first United States citizen to convince a judge that her brain cancer was caused by cell phone exposure.

Since the mid-1990s, numerous studies have investigated the relationship between cellular telephone use and the risk of developing malignant and benign brain tumors. The latest of those major studies—conducted by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer— is being published today in the International Journal of Epidemiology. The study found the cell phone-cancer link to be inconclusive.

Dubbed the Interphone Study, it surveyed nearly 13,000 participants over 10 years and found most cell phone use didn't increase the risk of developing meningioma — a common and frequently benign tumor — or glioma — a rare but deadlier form of cancer.

As of 2009, there were 1.6 billion cell phone users worldwide, according to International Telecommunication Union annual report. Globally, cell phone users are expected to reach a staggering 4.5 billion by 2012. Health concerns have been raised about cell phones due to the radio-frequency waves they emit. With respect to cancer, concern focuses on whether cell phones might increase the risk of brain tumors or other tumors in the head and neck area.

According to the Interphone International Study Group, there were “suggestions” that heavy cell phone users—those chatting for more than 30 minutes each day— could increase their risk of glioma by as much as 89 percent.

Jack Siemiatycki, a professor at the University of Montreal and an epidemiologist at the University of Montreal Hospital Research Center collaborated in the Interphone Study. He called the findings “paradoxical.”

“If we combine all users and compare them with non-users, the Interphone Study found no increase in brain cancer among users. In fact, surprisingly, we found that when we combine users independently of the amount of use, they had lower brain cancer risks than non-users.

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Lloyd Morgan, B.Sc., lead author of the landmark report, "Cellphones and Brain Tumors: 15 Reasons for Concern", discusses the flaws in the Interphone study that render it unreliable as a gauge of risk of brain tumors from cell phones.

The 11 design flaws grossly understimate the risk, and even still, the Interphone study, just pubished in the International Journal of Epidemiology, still shows statistically significant increased risk of brain tumors after 10 years of cellphone use. This is ominous because toxicants often take decades to show tumor risks, and we are seeing it at just 10 years. Cell phone usage rates in the Interphone study were just a fraction of cell phone usage rates today among adults and children alike.

Finally, without explanation, results were not pubished for acoustic neuromas and salivary gland tumors which are the tumors closest to the ear against which one places the cell phone.


International EMF Collaborative Technical Analysis on Interphone Brain
Tumor Study

Why are the results from the Swedish team led by Dr. Lennart Hardell so very different than the Interphone Study?
A Swedish team led by Dr. Lennart Hardell has published results showing substantial risk of brain tumors from cellphone and cordless phone use.
These results are internally consistent to what would be expected, if cellphone are a risk of brain tumors. That is:
The higher the cumulative hours of wireless phone use, the higher the risk;
The higher the number of years since first wireless phone use, the higher the risk;
The higher the radiated power from cellphone use, the higher the risk;
The higher the exposure (use on the same side of head as the brain tumor), the higher the risk, and;
The younger the user at first use of wireless phones, the higher the risk.

Why does this Swedish team consistently find increased risk from brain tumor from cellphone use when the Interphone study does not find similar risk?

The answer is quite simple, the Swedish team does not have the two largest contributors to the systemic-protective-skew found in the Interphone Study: selection bias and treating cordless phone use as a non-exposure.

This Swedish team had an 89% participation rates of cases and controls, while the Interphone study had 77% and 63% participation of meningioma and
glioma cases respectively, and 39% participation of controls.

The Swedish team treated cordless phone use as an exposure, and the Interphone study treated cordless phone use as a non- exposure. (clearly ridiculous since it is an almost identical exposure)

May 20, 2010 - 5:07pm
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