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Study finds long term heavy use of cell phones does increase cancer risk

It's not uncommon that studies done on the same subject often come to vastly different conclusions; and studies on the link between increased risk of cancer and cell phone usage are no exception.

A study published last year in American Journal of Epidemiology has shown that frequent cell phone users face a 50 percent higher risk of developing certain types of tumors. Specifically the risk of developing parotid tumors is increased by 50 percent. The parotid is the largest salivary gland and is located near the jaw and ear where cell phones are typically held.

A 50 percent increased risk of cancer sounds very serious, and any increased chance of cancer should be taken seriously. However, if you stand back and look at the actual numbers the chance of getting a tumor from using a cell phone is still incredibly minute.

A study performed by Mark Kidd showed that in heavy cell phone users the risk of parotid tumors increased from 0.003 percent to 0.0045 percent.

In September of 2007 DailyTech reported that the Mobile Telecommunications and Health Research Programme published a study stating that there was no short-term link between cancer and cell phone use. The report did say that more research was needed into the association of long term cell phone use and cancer.

A study by Dr. Siegal Sadetzki showed that using a cell phone for more than 10 years does in fact raise the risk of brain cancer and notes that children are particularly at risk because of their developing skulls. Sadetzki says, “While I think this technology is here to stay, I believe precautions should be taken in order to diminish the exposure and lower the risk for health hazards.”

Sadetzki recommends using a hands-free device at all times and holding the phone away from the body along with shorter less frequent calls. She also says limit the time kids spend on the phone.

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RE: Unlikely.
By Farfignewton on 2/18/2008 2:53:47 PM , Rating: 2
This would indicate that the group must have had at least a sample size of 200,000; unless you can halfway get cance

Maybe you only get it on one side of the head? Seriously though, you'd think the sample size would have to be a whole lot bigger than that unless it was repeated dozens of times or something. I mean ONE more person out of 200,000? Surely that isn't statistically significant even if it is a 50% increase.

RE: Unlikely.
By mmntech on 2/18/2008 3:10:10 PM , Rating: 3
Just because it's in a peer reviewed journal doesn't make it true. If anything, the only side effect cell phone use cases is a total loss of manners and driving ability.

There definitely needs to be more research on the subject because each time one study is released, another one comes out saying they don't cause tumors. I think a lot of these cell phone tumor studies (to borrow a term that appears on this site a lot) are FUD. The level of radiation cell phones and other wireless devices put out is so low that I doubt there would be such serious risks. You have a greater risk of cancer just standing out in the sun.

RE: Unlikely.
By oab on 2/18/2008 4:56:09 PM , Rating: 2
While true that the sun is more likely to cause cancer, you imply that because the power is so low there are no serious risks, but what about risks that are not serious?

Riding a roller-coaster carries the risk it might jump off the tracks. It is not a serious risk however, but does that mean there is no risk at all? Of course there is a risk, but it is a risk that millions of people are willing to take because the chance of it occurring are so low.

Saying "don't ride roller-coasters, it could jump the tracks and you could die", that's sort-of FUD like, but nothing that people would take seriously.

RE: Unlikely.
By KristopherKubicki (blog) on 2/18/2008 3:10:38 PM , Rating: 3
The report itself is a statistical nightmare. It looks like the sample size was justified by the number of people who got tumors in Israel, and then based on habits of those who used cell phones.

This assumes the people who actually have cancer knew it and it was diagnosed correctly.

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