World's biggest study on cell phones and brain cancer inconclusive
Published: Monday, May 17, 2010 - 10:42 in Health & Medicine
The world's biggest investigation on possible links between cell phone use and brain tumours is inconclusive, according to a Canadian scientist who collaborated on the Interphone International Study Group. Jack Siemiatycki, a professor at the University of Montreal and an epidemiologist at the University of Montreal Hospital Research Center, says restricted access to participants compromised the validity of results of the study to be published in the May 18 International Journal of Epidemiology. "The findings of the Interphone Study are ambiguous, surprising and puzzling," he says. The Interphone International Study Group, which examined whether cellular radio frequencies could be correlated to brain tumours, was coordinated by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. The investigation was led by 21 epidemiologists from Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Over 10,000 people took part in the study: cell phone users; non cell phone users; cell phone users who survived brain cancer as well as brain cancer survivors who had never used cell phones.
"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," says Dr. Siemiatycki, who teaches in the University of Montreal Faculty of Medicine. "However, the study also found heavy users of cell phones appeared to be at a higher risk of brain tumours than non-users."
Why the discrepancy? Simply put, scientists are unsure. Attention has focused on the methodology of the study and, in particular, on the representativeness of the study subjects who participated. With participation rates in the range of 50 percent to 60 percent of eligible subjects, it is possible that the participants did not provide an accurate portrait of cell phone usage among cancer cases and among healthy control subjects. Dr. Siemiatycki argues this problem arose because of constraints imposed on researchers by ethics committees intended to protect potential research subjects.
"Ethics reviews are now so rigid that scientists from Canada, the United States and Europe are losing the kind of access to medical databases and to study subjects that is needed to conduct studies such as this one. Ethics committees increasingly require that researchers work through treating physicians, professionals who are already overworked, to recruit their patients. This may work for clinical research exploring treatment of cancer, in which physicians often have a professional or personal interest, but it does not work for investigations into the causes of cancer. This flawed system can produce biased study results."
Despite the inconclusive results of the Interphone Study, consumers should not panic about possible risks related to cell phones, stresses Dr. Siemiatycki. "If there are risks, they are probably pretty small. Should anyone be concerned about potential dangers of cell phones, they can remedy the issue by using hands-free devices and avoid exposure to radio frequencies around their head."
Source: World's biggest study on cell phones and brain cancer inconclusive | e! Science News
NOTE: For any WiiHacks members who want to monitor and limit their exposure to the cell phone radiation, there is an app for Blackberry phones and a soon-to-be released app for the iPhone from Tawkon.
Hmmm, I seen my mom had this on her facebook yesterday, but I didn't pay any attention. Gonna have to give it a look.
If your mother or mother-in-law is concerned, the tawkon app really just shows that using a cell phone in an enclosed space increases the low level of radiation. The app then recommends that you switch to speaker phone or use a headset in that setting. Just buy your loved ones or even yourmother-in-law a nice headset. The study on sleep disturbances from late night cell phone use also just recommended wired headsets-just anything to get a little bit of distance between your head and the cell phone.
Ok, I will point her in the direction, you probably know how it is, it took me all this time to convince her that the internet was not the devil, so she looks for any little thing to be evil or something lol.
for people who spend a long time on the phone....they were saying nokia N series were the worst...
LOLit took me all this time to convince her that the internet was not the devil, so she looks for any little thing to be evil or something lol.