Brain Cancer (cont.)

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Do cell phones cause brain cancer?

There is an ongoing concern by a number of people that cell phones cause brain cancer. Some in popular press and some web sites suggest that avoiding cell phone use and using a macrobiotic diet will help avoid brain cancer. This situation has been exacerbated by a recent ruling to put cell phones on a list of items that "may" cause cancer by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). This was done because the IARC suggested that an increase in gliomas may occur with high use of cell phones. The IARC classified cell phones as group 2b carcinogens; these substances are considered possibly carcinogenic, but evidence is limited in both humans and experimental animals. The report does not say that cell phones cause brain cancer.

Currently, many researchers are convinced there is no good evidence for these cancer-causing claims. In December 2010, a large study of about 59,000 cell phone users, with use times ranging over five to 10 years, indicates that no substantial change in brain cancer incidence could be found in these individuals. Investigators suggest that "high usage" of cell phones over long time periods is yet to be investigated. With over 5 billion phones in use and no significant increase in gliomas (the most frequent type of brain cancer) reported worldwide, many investigators think that normal cell use likely causes no harm. However, for those readers who want to minimize any electromagnetic radiation dose from cell phones, the reader can consult the web for a list of phones that produce the highest and lowest radiation levels (for example, http://reviews.cnet.com/2719-6602_7-291-2.html?tag=page;page). In addition, the use of earphones or the speaker function will allow usage without the phone having close proximity to the brain.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/24/2014

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