Cell phone use linked to brain cancer in new study

Users of mobile phones are at increased risk of developing brain tumours, especially if they use older analogue phones, a team of Swedish medical investigators has suggested.

The tumours are most likely to appear on the side of the head where the users hold the their phones, because those are the areas that are most exposed to the phones' microwaves, according to a study published last week in the online peer-reviewed general medical journal MedGenMed.

All but one of the 13 individuals with malignant or benign tumors within areas of the brain exposed to the phones' microwaves used an older analogue mobile phone with greater power output than newer digital models.

"With the proliferation of cell phones -- and the fact that many older higher-power output phones are still in use -- it is important to adequately assess the risks in larger, ongoing studies," said Dr. George D. Lundberg, editor-in-chief of MedGenMed and its parent company, Medscape, in a statement.

The report, "Case-Control Study on Radiological Work, Medical X-ray Investigations and Use of Cellular Telephones as Risk Factors for Brain Tumours," is based on a two-year study conducted in two separate regions of Sweden, evaluating the cases of 233 patients with brain tumors. Each was matched to two controls, or healthy subjects, based on similar sex, age, and geography. The cases and controls were evaluated for exposure to a variety of possible cancer risks.

The complete report can be found at http://www.medscape.com/MedGenMed/braintumors/. Visitors must first register with the site to access the report.

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