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