Mobile phone use and brain tumours: is there a connection?

9 June 2005

San Francisco. Is there a link between cell phones and brain tumours? Over the past 15 years, there has been growing concern about this possibility. Part of this concern stems from the fact that there are over one billion mobile phone subscribers worldwide, and the number is increasing.

The National Brain Tumor Foundation (NBTF), a non-profit patient organization, is addressing this question in its latest newsletter. Stefan Lonn, PhD, a researcher at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, authored the cover article.

"It is easy to see the advantages of cell phones both for individuals and for the wider community," writes Dr. Lonn, "but concerns have been raised that use of this technology has increased dramatically without sufficient understanding of potential adverse health effects."

Early last year Dr. Lonn published the results of a Swedish study, which found an increased risk of acoustic neuroma, a type of brain tumor, after 10 or more years of cell phone use. This year he published more research results, which showed that cell phones did not increase the risk of other brain tumour types (gliomas or meningiomas). These types of conflicting reports often leave the public unsure about whether cell phones pose a risk or not.

"Because we receive so many questions about whether there is a link between cell phones and brain tumours, NBTF decided to devote an entire newsletter to this issue," says Rob Tufel, MSW, MPH, NBTF's Executive Director. "We hope our readers will be in a better position to make an informed decision about their own cell phone use after reading our publication."

Dr. Lonn's work is part of the Interphone study, a 14-country research project initiated by the World Health Organization (WHO). The results of the Interphone study are due in 2006. Meanwhile, the WHO suggests that persons concerned about cell phone use can limit the length of calls, use a "hands- free" device to keep cell phones away from the head and body, and avoid using cell phones while driving. NBTF has endorsed these guidelines.

In addition to Dr Lonn's article, the NBTF newsletter contains the views of prominent health professionals and scientists regarding the possible link between cell phone use and brain tumours.

Each year over 40,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with a primary brain tumor and 360,000 Americans are currently living with a brain tumour. There are over 120 different types of brain tumors. Despite numerous studies about brain tumours, their causes remain unknown.

About the National Brain Tumor Foundation

The US National Brain Tumor Foundation raises funds for research into the causes of brain tumours and to improve treatments. NBTF also provides support and information to patients and family members. For a copy of the newsletter, contact NBTF at 1.800.934.2873 or visit the What's New section of the NBTF website, www.braintumor.org

Source: National Brain Tumor Foundation

Contact:  Robert Tufel of National Brain Tumor Foundation,
+1-415-834-9970, ext. 107, or tufel@braintumor.org

Web site: http://www.braintumor.org/



To top


To top