Friday, December 4, 2009

No link between cell phones and brain cancer

Good news for hand phone users as their is no direct correlation between cell phone and brain tumours, at least in this study.

Study: No link between cell phones and brain cancer

LOS ANGELES: A latest study by Nordic researchers, found that there is no apparent link between cell phones and brain cancer, China's Xinhua news agency reported, citing the online edition of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Researchers at the Institute of Cancer Epidemiology at the Danish Cancer Society in Copenhagen based their conclusion on a 30-year examination of the incidents of brain tumors in Scandinavia.

For the study, the researchers collected data on 60,000 people diagnosed with glioma and meningioma (types of brain tumours) in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden between 1974 and 2003, Xinhua said.

The researchers found that the incidence of brain tumors over this 30-year period were stable, starting before cell phones became popular.

In addition, there was no change in the incidence of brain tumors between 1998 and 2003, a period of rapid increase in cell phone usage, the researchers noted.

"If mobile phones were to cause brain tumors, we would expect to see a sudden rise in the number of brain tumors at some point in time, and we don't see it," said lead researcher Isabelle Deltour.

However, Deltour leaves the door open to the possibility that widespread cell phone use has not been around long enough to see an increase in brain tumors.

"Either it means that mobile phones don't cause brain tumors or it means that we don't see it yet or we don't see it because the increase is too small to be observed in this population, or it is a risk that is limited to a small subgroup of the population," she said.

Despite new findings, doubts linger about whether cell phones cause brain cancer.

Commenting on that study, Dr. Deepa Subramaniam, director of the Brain Tumor Center at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center in Washington, D.C., said: "We cannot make any definitive conclusions about this.

“But this study, in addition to all the previous studies, continues to leave lingering doubt as to the potential for increased risk. So, one more time, after all these years, we don't have a clearcut answer." Deltour said her team would continue to look at the rates of brain tumors in the study group. - Bernama

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