Studies that looked for the link between mobiles and cancer

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According to their results, that exposure increased the incidence of glioma, a type of brain cancer, and schwannoma, a type of tumor that occurs in the heart, in male mice. Neither females nor offspring exposed during pregnancy had a higher incidence of these tumors. The main conclusion of the authors is that more studies are necessary.

The results presented are preliminary and leave some questions unanswered, such as why female rats did not develop tumors, or why animals exposed to radiation lived on average longer than those in the control group who did not receive radiation.

And what is more important, key to this whole issue, what is the biological mechanism that would explain the results. Non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation (unlike ionizing radiation, which can damage DNA), which is emitted by mobiles, has no effect on the matter that absorbs it, beyond heating it, just as the waves it emits do a microwave. However, the one emitted by phones is much weaker, so that beyond temporarily warming our ears or hands, no other effects have been established on our body.

In recent years, several studies have tried to clarify this question to determine if there are reasons to take precautions against this type of radiation or if, on the contrary, we can be calm (always bearing in mind that the risk is never zero). We review the three large epidemiological studies, reported by the National Cancer Institute (NIH), which to date have analyzed whether there is an association between the use of mobile phones and cancer.

A study carried out for two years within the National Toxicology Program, under the United States Department of Health, has found, so far only in rats, a connection between continued exposure to radiation emitted by mobile phones and the risk of suffering some types of tumors. The researchers exposed 2,500 animals to different levels of radiation emitted by two different protocols commonly used in mobile communication systems, GSM and CDMA.

The Interphone study

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which belongs to the WHO, carried out a study, called Interphone, in 2010 based on control cases focused on four types of tissue tumors that absorb more radiation from mobile phones. : two cerebrals, one from the parotid gland and one from the acoustic nerve. It was carried out in thirteen countries and fifty scientists participated, interviewing more than 5,000 participants. The results of the study did not reveal a statistically significant increase in this type of tumors in relation to the increased use of mobile phones.

The Danish Study

In 2011, a study published in the British Medical Journal collected the most extensive research to date in the field of mobile waves and cancer. Carried out by the Copenhagen Institute of Cancer Epidemiology, it was to analyze whether the risk of suffering from brain cancer had increased in 358,403 owners of mobile phone lines in a period of 18 years. To draw their conclusions, the researchers analyzed cancer incidence data for the entire Danish population over the age of 30, dividing it between those who had a mobile line before 1995, and those who did not, seeking to draw conclusions about long-term use . The data was extracted from the Danish telecommunications operators and the Danish Cancer Registry.

As a result, the researchers determined that when focused on long-term observations, cancer rates were virtually the same for people who had a mobile phone and those who did not. They also concluded that there was no widespread increase in tumors of the nervous system among mobile users.

The Million Women Study

In the UK, more than a million women ages 50 and up underwent a comprehensive study, called the Million Women Study, to try to answer a series of questions about how everyday factors affect the health of this group of the population. Among other things, the relationship between the risk of gliomas, meningiomas and other types of tumors of the peripheral nervous system and the use of mobile phones was analyzed. They did detect a possible increase in the risk of suffering from acoustic neuroma, a type of benign tumor, in women who have used the phone for more than 5 years

The first two tests may not state that there is a link between brain cancer and excessive cell phone use and the last test suggests otherwise. But one thing is certain, anything that is excessive is not good for health. We do not know whether further studies will lead to conclusions that “blame cell phone radiation” or not. But we should start to limit ourselves in treating mobilephone as our “most loyal friend”.


A tech-freak self-motivated professional that thrives on innovation and overcoming challenges. She is a trained writer and scholarship holder. Went through with writing for a lot of big media houses. Writing is her all-time favorite job.

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