Cell-Phones & Cancer


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What is the one piece of technology we use the most everyday?  Most likely for all of us this piece of technology is our cell phone.  I am sure I am not the only one who's Grandparents tell her being on the phone too much is bad for your health.  However, the myths about cell-phones causing cancer are NOT true.  
   In a recent study done by Copenhagen's Department of Epidemiology and Public Health they divided Danish adults over the age of 30 into groups of subscribers and non-subscribers of cell phones before the year 1995.  The study showed that cancer was equal among both groups.  
   They analyzed data of 10,729 central nervous system tumors between 1990-2007.  They found that people who used cellphones for over 13 years had similar cancer rates to non cellphone users.  
   People think that cancer was caused by the cell phone radiation.  Research showed there were no increased instances of glioma in the temporal lobes of the brain.  This is the part of the body that would be directly exposed to the cellphone radiation.   
  "In this update of a nationwide study of mobile phone subscribers in Denmark we found no indication of an increased risk of tumours of the central nervous system," the authors conclude. However, the authors warn that "a small to moderate increase in risk for subgroups of heavy (cellphone) users" cannot be ruled out, which calls for further studies on large populations.
   I would compare this study of cellphones and cancer to smoking and cancer.  It took many years for us to figure out that smoking increased the likelihood of cancer.  However, so far research shows that we do not have much to worry about with our cellphones effecting our health.  But like we learn in class, there is never a 0% chance. 

articles used: http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2011/oct/21/mobilephones-cancer
http://mashable.com/2011/10/21/cellphones-cancer-study/
  

5 Comments

I remember this was a big deal a few years ago and I actually almost did my blog post on it this topic. I found that cell phones emit a form of non ionizing, electromagnetic radiation, which is not harmful to us. Definitely a good thing considering how prevalent cell phone use is today. I found this information here: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/cellphones

There are three main reasons why there is a high concern about cell phones causing cancer:
1. Cell phone emit radio-frequency energy, which means tissues nearest to where the phone is held absorbs this energy.
2.The number of cell phone users has increased very rapidly.
3.The number of cell phone calls per day, the length of each call, and the amount of time people use cell phones have increased.

So, given the first point is true (that the radio-frequency has a negative effect on the body, which causes cancer.) Than given points 2 and 3, this is a big problem.
But, fortunately, there is no evidence today from studies of cells, animals, or humans that prove that radio-frequency energy can cause caner.
You can read more about this study in here


I actually wrote an entry about a similar topic last week
http://www.personal.psu.edu/afr3/blogs/siowfa12/2012/10/are-cellphones-helping-us-or-harming-us.html

I like though how you compared the study of cell phones and cancer to the study of smoking and cancer. I agree that it will take a while to find out the truth. Lots of studies that say cellphones don't cause cancer can just be by chance, as can the ones that say they do.

This is very interesting right here. One thing that I want to point out is that is that it may be very difficult to perform an experiment or test here. You linked cell phones and cancer to smoking and the one problem that they had with smoking tests is that they couldn't just force someone to smoke and say they might die because of it. Due to this you have to find people who are willing to smoke or as in the case mentioned above either use or not use their cell phone. I think it would be really cool to do this test again though. I wonder if newer and more technologically advanced phones which transmit more data and have more uses may contribute to cancer. You could do a similar test to the one above but have the one group maybe be ONLY avid iPhone users.

This article on CNN Money http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2011/06/07/cell-phone-use-is-way-up-so-why-are-brain-cancer-rates-down/ states that cancer rates have actually gone down since the cell phone usage sky rocketed in the early 90s. The researches note that there is about a 30 year lag in data with these types of studies (similar to the smoking unit in class). However, it has been 20 years and there would have been a significant amount of outliers who developed cancer due to cell phone usage by now. Interesting!

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