Cell phone use, brain cancer...these are two words you don't really want to hear in the same sentence.
Here's my problem with this topic (see quote at end from Mercola.com, the popular health website). On the one hand, it seems sensible enough that cell phone use could be causing a rise in brain tumors/cancer. You get surgeons who are "reporting more cases of brain tumors/cancer than before", cell phone use is on the rise, peer-reviewed journals and all sorts of really credible sounding stuff.However, there's one piece of information that doesn't seem to match up and I think it's an important one.
If cell phones have been going up and up in use since, let's say 1992 or so (when I purchased my first cell phone-pictured above), shouldn't the rate of cancer be climbing as well, even if it's on a 10 year delay?
Well, according to the Cancer Institute, it's dropping!
Here's the actual cell-phone-use-brain-cancer graph from the Cancer Institute's stat program, called SEER:
Incidences of brain cancer are declining almost date-coincident with the commercial popularity of the cell phone. And don't get me wrong here: if I hadn't seen this graph, I would probably be right now figuring out a way to greatly reduce m cell phone usage. Anyone who knows me, knows I'm serious about my and my family's health.
Just for good measure...
The Seer program didn't really scale my cell-phone-use-brain-cancer graph above correctly. It starts the scale at "0" incidences per 100,000 people and since the lowest number on the graph starts around 5.5, we need to tighten up this graph to really see the peaks and valleys and a clearer picture of the trend. So I downloaded the data and put it into a Google spreadsheet so I could quickly publish a chart reflecting the correct scaling of the numbers. Here's how it came out:
(Pardon the formatting of the years at the bottom there. Ran out of time and patience to fix it.)
As you can see here, the drop from around 1995 to 2005 is even more marked when the graph is set up right. We really do appear to be having less and less instances of brain related cancers in the US.
If anyone wants to take a shot at clearing up this cell-phone-use-brain-cancer contradiction relative to what Mercola is saying, I'm all ears. I tried to post this to his forum as a comment, but despite my being on his mailing list, my email address doesn't exist in his database. Another "time and patience" situation.
Leave a comment below. I'm eager to hear what you think of this.Mercola: Secret Link Between Cigarettes and Cell Phones?.
Cell phones are used by an estimated 275 million people in the United States and 4 billion worldwide. A recent review of studies assessed whether there was epidemiologic evidence for an association between long-term cell phone usage and the risk of developing a brain tumor. In order to be included in the analysis, studies were required to have been published in a peer-reviewed journal, included participants who had used cell phone for 10 or more years, and analyzed the side of the brain tumor relative to the side of the head preferred for cell phone usage.
Eleven long-term epidemiologic studies fit the criteria. The results indicated that using a cell phone for 10 or more years approximately doubles the risk of being diagnosed with a brain tumor on the same side of the head as that preferred for cell phone use.