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Is there a link between cell phone use and cancer?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

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Atlanta, GA: The recent discovery of, and surgery for a brain tumor located in the cranium of beloved Senator Ted Kennedy has refueled the debate over the link to cell phone use and cancer. Senator Kennedy's diagnosis of glioma relates to a tumor that critics have long associated with cell phone use.

The allegation has been dismissed by the American Cancer Society, and various other experts. Among the dissenters is Dr. Eugene Flamm, Chairman of Neurosurgery at Montefiore Medical Center, who referred to the alleged link as defying credulity.

However, it is interesting to note that three prominent neurosurgeons have revealed they never hold cell phones to their ears. Dr. Vini Khurana, an associate professor of neurosurgery at the Australian National University and an outspoken critic of cellphones, uses a speakerphone. Dr. Keith Black, of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, and Dr. Sanjay Gupta, a neurosurgeon at Emory University Hospital and the likeable chief medical correspondent for CNN, both prefer to use earpieces.

All three appeared on Larry King Live last week, and stressed the importance of keeping the microwave antenna of the cell phone as far from the brain as possible.


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My dad (who is a doctor) brought this up at dinner recently.  He basically told our family that although the causal relationship between cell phone use and glioma will take a while to prove or disprove...there's no harm in taking precautions in using a headset/earpieces.  I have an earpiece...but I don't carry it around all the time (which means I don't use it all the time).


What do you in the huddle think about the cell phone/cancer thing?  Do you believe it?  Or is it like everything else...the dose makes the poison.

Edited by stins - Tue, 29 Jul 2008 01:18:24 GMT
post #2 of 10

 I'm a firm believer that it could be possible. I think back to the 50's, when cigarettes weren't considered harmful, and in fact some advertisements even said they were positively healthy! 


I'm worried enough about it that I use a headpiece whenever I can, and a wired one at that. I'm not convinced that bluetooth is much better... lower power, perhaps, but it still emits RF signals. Still, I don't worry about it that much... I'll still happily make or take a long call without my headgear.

post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 

So I've been checking out my Google Reader...and I've got the key phrase "cell phone" in there (so it pulls all the news related to mobile).  Anyway, in the past few days, there have been a variety of articles pulled all about cell phones and cancer.  Here's one from Scientific American and another from CNET News.


What do y'all think?  Does it make you more likely to use a headset?

post #4 of 10

You're supposed to talk on these things?  Hopefully I won't be adversely affected by messaging, browsing, reading books, and playing games :)

post #5 of 10

It could be possible. It's best to stay on the safe side and not let the kiddies have their own cell phones. Fortunately, I don't use cell phones to talk much, I mainly use them for messaging and entertainment. So this news doesn't bother me much. I'll just make sure to use some sort of headset so that it's not right up against my head.

post #6 of 10

I'm pretty sure cellphones, or any electronics placed on your head will play with your DNA.  I've got a bluetooth headset, and I'm sure that also, to a lesser extent, also has fun with my DNA.  I think hanging out on the beach or going rollerblading for an hour or two inflicts much more damage than talking on the cellphone for the same amount of time. 


In any case, my cellphone usage has definitely declined to perhaps 45 minutes a day now since I signed up for a dataplan and free texting,  I probably use the guy 3+ hours a day since I email/text/gtalk/consume rss feeds on it.

post #7 of 10

There was recently an interesting piece on NPR about this.  I can't remember all the details, but they were talking about the cell phone radiation penetrating a few inches into the skull, and warming the brain. 


Really, the popularity of cell phones is still a recent enough phenomenon that it could be another 5-10 years before a clear spike in brain tumors would happen (should this all be true).


It makes sense to me, and in any case, it's better to be safe than sorry.  My wife and I have corded headsets that we try to use, although we don't always remember to, and when at home, we use the landline rather than our cells.

post #8 of 10
Originally Posted by kiwi:

There was recently an interesting piece on NPR about this.


This might be the NPR story kiwi is talking about.


There certainly seems to be a lack of evidence either way, but I agree.  Why not use a headset?  It certainly doesn't hurt anything and it might turn out to be worthwhile.

post #9 of 10

I saw the medical correspondent on CNN talking about this. He says the main issue is that little kids' skulls soak up the radiation a lot more than adults, which is why I think the doctor at the University of Pittsburgh sounded the alarm about not letting kids use cell phones.

post #10 of 10

That wasn't the link to the story unfortunately. I think I saved a MP3 of it on my PC at work so will try and track it down tomorrow.


The big problem with linking anything to cancer is that it's just about impossible because how can you have a control group or how can you specifically link it to one thing? Maybe I'm a little paranoid, but the idea that a device that has radiation that penetrate into my skull could be bad for me in some way, doesn't seem that radical.

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