Monday, November 13, 2006

Cellphones and Brain Cancer


I watched Thank you for not Smoking last night, and thought it had some pretty funny parts. The humour was refreshingly satirical. SPOILER: Interestingly the main character ends up being the spin doctor for cell phone companies and the association with brain tumours. I wondered if there was a parrallel between smoking / lung cancer and cellphones / brain cancer. Nowadays would science have enough power to publish links of cellphones to brain cancer? I guess the question is then; Is there a link between the two? A pubmed search of "mobile phone cancer" gives 131 hits and not many that I could find suggested a link between the two. However alot of studies received funding from the telecommunications industry and a competing interest statement resides at the end of some papers. I also found a paper that I had heard about that suggested that while your incidence of cancer is not increased with cellphone usage, if you get a brain tumour it is significantly more likely to be on the side of your brain that you use your cellphone. That sounds really sketchy, however, the researchers chalk it up to recall bias. Here is an old article that summerizes some data that I have not found as well as the abstract of a paper that seems the most authoritative on making a link between cancer and cell phone use.


3 comments:

Bayman said...

I wonder if the brain tumor side of the head thing is also related to the usage of regular phones in addition to just cell phones?...seems it is well-established that electrical workers, including even telecommunications/telegraph operators are at increased brain tumor risk and maybe other cancers like leukemia and breast...

rob said...

I think that one of their controls was people who used carphones or something like that. Where did you hear about the electrical workers statistics?

Bayman said...

A bunch of crap all over pubmed...