Study Looks At Salivary Gland Cancer, Cell Phone Link
The huge increase in cancers of the salivary glands in Israel in recent years could be related to the use of cell phones, according to a study conducted by Israeli researchers. However, use of accessories, such as earphones, during cell phone use helps to drop radiation.
This study, conducted between 1970 and 2006 by the Israeli Dental Association and cited Thursday by the daily Haaretz, reflecst a very significant increase of malignant tumors affecting the parotid glands below the ear, near the place used used by cell phones during calls.
"Between 1980 and 2002, the number of parotid salivary cancers has remained stable at 25 per year, whereas this figure rose to 75 during the next five years," said Avi Zini, Hadassah School of Dental Medicine. However, the number of cases of cancers of the glands in the mouth remain stable.
In addition, the number of cancers suspected to be related to the use of the cell phones was proportionally higher among young patients, who are the more frequent users of cell phones. Every fifth of them was under twenty years of age. "We haven't gathered data on the use of cell phones on the part of the patients," Zini said, "but the rise [in cancer cases] absolutely could indicate increased exposure to cellular telephones and damage caused by radiation," Avi Zini added.
In their attempt to examine a possible link between cell phone use and oral cancers, the researchers will try to collect more data on their oral cancer patients' cell phone use during the next stage of the study.
The researchers will attempt to collect more data on the use of cell phone effect on oral
In 2007, another Israeli study had concluded that the microwave radio frequencies emitted by cell phones significantly increase the risk of cancer of the salivary glands. The risk of developing cancer of these glands are about 50% higher among frequent users of cell phones (22 hours per month), said the study published in American Journal of Epidemiology. The risk is even greater if users set the device to the ear or even if they do not have a jack. The radiation risk is also higher in rural areas where the signals are not always as strong as in metropolitan areas.
The study showed that using earphones during cell phone conversations has dropped radiation risk.
By Armen Hareyan
Materials from Haaretz and AFP are used in this story.