No evidence yet that cell phones cause brain tumors

Kathleen Blanchard's picture

Researchers from Copenhagen say there is no increased risk of brain tumors from using cell phones. The scientists explored the incidence of brain tumors between 1974 and 2003, saying they found no connection between cell phone use and the number of people diagnosed with brain tumors.

Isabelle Deltour, Ph.D., of the Institute of Cancer Epidemiology, Danish Cancer Society and colleagues conducted a study that found 60,000 adult patients, age 20, diagnosed with brain tumors related to glioma and meningioma over the thirty year period. They found no association between the introduction of cell phones and brain tumors.


The researchers instead found the brain tumor diagnosis remained stable, decreased, or gradually increased continually, prior to and after the introduction of cell phones. The trend remained the same between 1998 and 2003, when cell phone use became popular.

The scientists are not certain what the findings really mean. Either cell phones do not increase the incidence of brain tumors, it may take more than five years for brain tumors to manifest if they do, or the risk of brain tumors in the population studied is too smal to be noticeable.

"Because of the high prevalence of mobile phone exposure in this population and worldwide, longer follow-up of time trends in brain tumor incidence rates are warranted," the authors write. The brief, published online December 3 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, shows that so far, there is no definite link between cell phone use and brain tumors - continued surveillance is needed.