24/03/2003 - Further aspects on cellular and cordless phones and brain tumours
Lennart Hardell, Kjell Hansson Mild and M Carlberg
International Journal of Oncology, 22:399-407, 2003.
This new paper is an update of their previous published study and was based
on the analysis of 1,600 tumour victims who had been using mobile phones for up
to 10 years before being diagnosed. Prof Mild now states: "The evidence for a
connection between phone use and cancer is clear and convincing. The more you
use phones and the greater the number of years you have them, the greater the
risk of brain tumours."
"Mobile phones are here to stay so my advice is never to use one without a
An earlier study by Mild, a cancer specialist, linked brain tumours to the
use of analogue mobile phones. The new research repeated this and inlcuded
digital (GSM) mobiles and DECT cordless phones. It showed that all three types
were linked with increased tumour rates. The extra tumours only start to really
show up after about 5 years use, but there is increasing dose-related-response
with minutes of use per month and number of years of use.
The increase in tumours for cordless phone use only become significant after
about 10 years, but all the evidence is mounting up to show that people should
only use wireless phones of any sort WHEN THERE IS NO ALTERNATIVE. Powerwatch
believes than many people will suffer from long-term adverse health effects from
their use of mobile (including cordless) phone technology. We are not aginst
them per se, but do think they should only be used for really essential calls
and not as a 'normal' means of telephonic communication. Tumours, dementia and
chronic fatique syndrom are three of the devastating outcomes forwhich increases
in risk have now been indicated.
Since 1980 the number of acoustic neuromas (a rare tumour) diagnosed in
Britain has risen from one in every 100,000 of the population to one in 80,000 a
year. The increased risk of acoustic neuromas ranges from approx 2 to 5 fold
depending on length and time of phone use. Some (but not all) other types of
tumour also show an increase.
Dr Richard Sullivan, head of clinical programmes at Cancer Research UK and
quoted in the Sunday Times on 16th March 2003, said the study was worrying.
"It suggests a strong link between mobile phones and brain tumours. We now
need a full-scale study"
In the most recent previous study:
Cellular and cordless telephones and the risk for brain tumours
Eur J Cancer Prev 2002;11:377-386
Hardell L, Hallquist A, Mild KH, Carlberg M, et al. (2002)
This study used a different set of patients from those used in the papers
published by these authors in 1999 and 2000. Cancer registries were used to
identify new cases of brain tumour, aged 20 to 80 years, from four medical
regions of Sweden. The cases were diagnosed during the period January 1997 to
June 2000. Initially 2,561 cases were identified, but after further
investigation to confirm the diagnosis and after exclusion of decease persons,
1617 cases remained. Each case was age and sex matched with a control from the
same geographical region. Questionnaires were sent to each participant, and
followed up by telephone interview if clarification of responses was needed.
Details were obtained about the type of phone used, as well as number of years
used, mean number of minutes of use per day, and which ear was used most
The results were based on 1,303 matched pairs for whom complete information
was available. There was an increased risk of brain tumour for analogue phones
(OR of 1.3). This increased to 1.4 for those using phones for more than 5
years and to 1.8 for more than 10 years' use. The largest increase in risk
was for acoustic neuromas (OR 3.5).
Increased risk was found for cases with a tumour in the temporal area. This
was true for cordless phone users of more than 5 years duration (OR 1.9) as well
as those using analogue phones (OR 2.0; 1.9 and 2.6 for 5 and 10-year users
respectively). When the side of the head of phone use was examined, unusual
results were found. Not only was there an increased risk of brain tumour on the
same side as phone use for analogue, digital and cordless phones, but this was
true not only for tumours in the temporal areas, but also for other areas of the