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Brain Tumor Increase: Are Cell Phones to Blame?


A new study showing an increase in brain tumors raises concerns that cell phone use may be the cause. However, it may be years before we know definitively whether a real danger exists.  The numerous studies linking cell phones and brain cancer are currently inconclusive.

The latest research, published in the Journal of Public Health and Environment shows a startling increase, in England, in the number of aggressive and often fatal types of brain tumors called Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM).

Over the last 20 years, the number of patients with this type of tumor more than doubled, from 1,250 to 3,000. The study does not identify the cause of the increase. 

What's concerning about these results as it pertains to cell phone use is that this type of tumor, GBM, is located in the frontal temporal lobe, by the ear and forehead, which is typically where people place cell phones.  While these types of tumors are on the rise in England, the incidence of other types of brain tumors in different areas of the brain are decreasing. 

However, even with these facts, scientists are not able to say cell phones are causing the uptick in GBMs and more say more studies need to be done.  

In 2015 the European Commission Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks concluded that cell phone use does not show an increased risk of brain tumors.  Likewise, Cancer Research UK concluded it is "unlikely that mobile phones increased the risk of brain tumors while at the same time admitted "we do not know enough to completely rule out a risk." 

Similarly,  CBN News spoke to a California breast cancer surgeon who noticed an increase in breast tumors among women who carried their cell phone in their bras.  However, that anecdotal evidence is not enough to scientifically conclude the cell phones are the cause. Nevertheless, he advises women to make "the bra a no cell phone zone." 

The U.S. National Cancer Institute says while there is concern that the radiation emitted from cell phones might harm body tissue, especially since Americans are talking more on cell phones than they used to, there is still no proof the devices cause cancer.

Likewise, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says "the weight of scientific evidence has not linked cell phones with any health problems," adding, "Cell phones emit low levels of radiofrequency energy. Over the past 15 years, scientists have conducted hundreds of studies looking at the biological effects of the radiofrequency energy emitted by cell phones. While some researchers have reported biological changes associated with RF energy, these studies have failed to be replicated. The majority of studies published have failed to show an association between exposure to radiofrequency from a cell phone and health problems."

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