No Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Cancers

Brain cancer risks in youngsters not connected to cell phones

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Not long ago, we were told that there's a definite link between cell phone usage and brain cancer. Yet a new study shows that this link isn't found in children and adolescents. 

Researchers have found no statistical difference in the risk of brain cancer between children and adolescents who use cell phones and those who don't. The findings were published in the Journal of The National Cancer Institute.

"Urge your kids to use cell phones with ear sets."

Obviously, cell phone use has skyrocketed among kids in the past few years. This trend is a source of concern about the effect of radiation on developing nervous systems. There's a fear, too, that because their heads are smaller, the electromagnetic fields could penetrate deeper into young brains and possibly cause tumors.

No study has looked specifically at mobile phone use and brain cancer risk in young people, though, until now.

To look for an association, Martin Röösli, Ph.D, of the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute in Basel, Switzerland, and colleagues examined the records of children ages 7-19 who had brain cancer.

Among the participants, 352 youngsters had brain tumors and 646 children were healthy. The study was conducted between 2004 and 2008 in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Switzerland.

Everyone in the study was surveyed about their phone use.

The children with brain cancers were not more likely to be cell phone users than the healthy youngsters who served as control subjects.

The majority of all participants had reported using cell phones more than 20 times prior to the study, including 75.3 percent of patients and 72.1 percent of the control group. Similarly, 55 percent of patients and 51 percent of healthy youngsters said they used cell phones regularly.

Researchers found no increased risk of brain tumors for the areas of the brain that receives the most exposure to cell electromagnetic radiation.

The authors note that while this study doesn't show a definitive link between cell phone use and cancer in young people, careful monitoring  needs to remain in place, particularly since usage continues to increase among this population.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
July 28, 2011
Last Updated:
July 31, 2011