Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Cell phones linked to brain cancer!

There has been speculation about cell phones and increase risk of brain cancer for a while now.  Today, the World Health Organization (WHO) has announced that radiation from cell phones can possibly cause cancer.  You can click here to read more.  It seems as if the risk is worse for younger children and for those who use the device for a long time.  Even though the studies have been inconsistent, some European countries have already taken precautionary measures mostly aimed at children.

Here is an excerpt from the article that I read that summarizes the bottom line:

Jonathan Samet, MD, chairman of the working group, notes that "the evidence, while still accumulating, is strong enough to support a conclusion and the 2B classification.
"The conclusion means that there could be some risk, and therefore we need to keep a close watch for a link between cell phones and cancer risk," he said in a news release.
A full report summarizing the main conclusions and evaluations of the IARC Working Group is slated to be published online soon in The Lancet Oncology and in print in its July 1 issue.

So what does this mean to me?

  • Will try to limit cell phone use in my kids who are both under 4 - they already have this fascination with cell phones and play with pretend or inactivated cell phones that we have around the house all the time.  Every now and then I'd let them talk to grandparents or grandparents would let them talk to me on the cell phone... if I'm going to do it, will set it on speaker mode so the phone itself is farther away from the head
  • Will try to use headset or speaker mode more for myself - especially since I take calls from patients when our office is closed, I'm on the phone almost all the time!  Hey even if the research is not conclusive yet.. why not take whatever precaution possible to avoid such risk...