New study finds no link between mobile phone usage and brain cancer

A new study done in Australia shows that there is no link between mobile phone usage and brain cancer.

Authored by Professor Simon Chapman and conducted with co-researchers from the University of Sydney, the study involved 19,858 men and 14,222 women diagnosed with cancer in Australia from 1982 to 2012.

(Image Credit: GMA Public Affairs)

The researchers then associated age and gender-specific incidence rates with the data on mobile phone usage during the years 1987 to 2012.

What they found out was that incidence of brain cancer by age rose in a small degree among men but not among women. However the incidence was not associated with mobile phone usage.

Researchers said that the significant increase was found among those 70 years or more and the increase in brain cancer incidence in this group began as far back as 1982. That's 5 years prior to the introduction of mobile phones in Australia. So, mobile phone usage is definitely not the cause of the increase in brain cancer incidence in this group. Most likely, improved diagnosis led to better detection of brain cancer, hence the increase.

Using a model which assumed that mobile phones would cause a 50 percent increase in brain cancer incidence, the researchers were also expecting 1,866 cases in 2012 (if indeed mobile phones cause cancer). But the actual number of brain cancer incidence recorded was only 1,435.

Another model assumes a 150% increase in brain cancer among heavy users of mobile phones.  The model predicts 2,038 expected cases of brain cancer, but only 1,435 were detected.

With such a massive study, the conclusion is hard to ignore. Since the study found that mobile phone usage is not linked at all to brain cancer,  can millions of heavy mobile phone users now put their minds at ease?

Well, what about the World Health Organization finding that radiation from cell phones just might cause cancer? The WHO listed the mobile phone as a carcinogenic hazard way back 2011, in the same category as lead, engine exhaust, and chloroform.

To be on the safe side, it would still be best to use headphones when making a call, especially if it's going to be a long one. Just saying.
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