Good Science in Plain Language

Cell Phones and Cancer Risk

Concerns about the potential relationship between cell phone use and brain cancer risk continue to arise. The worry is that radiofrequency energy from cell phones may affect the brain and other tissues. The only known biological effect of exposure to radiofrequency energy is heating and exposure from cell phone use does cause heating; however, it is not sufficient to cause a measurable  increase in body temperature.

In the words of the National Cancer Institute: “it is generally accepted that damage to DNA is necessary for cancer to develop. However, radiofrequency energy, unlike ionizing radiation, does not cause DNA damage in cells, and it has not been found to cause cancer in animals or to enhance the cancer-causing effects of known chemical carcinogens in animals (3–5).”

At this point in time there is no conclusive scientific evidence from studies of cells, animals, or humans to suggest that cell phone use causes cancer. The debate in the scientific and public domains continues. Have you ever had a conversation on a controversial subject that started with “The research shows(…)”?

Cell Phone & Brain Fact It is true, the research is there. Researchers have carried out several types of epidemiologic studies to investigate the possibility of a relationship between cell phone use and cancer risk. Some of the more talked about studies are: The INTERPHONE study; The Danish cohort study; The Million Women Study. The problem with the all the studies done so far is that each has its own drawbacks and limitations. So before we can start drawing our own conclusions from any study it is important to understand what these limitations are.

Scientific methodolody, if you are not a die hard researcher, could be a boring subject. So lets switch gears and go straight to the visual. Here is a another great video from the team at Veritasium that talks about cell phone use and related studies. If all this will leave you with more questions, remember you can always call us at 1-800-263-5803, reach out to us on twitter @RSICanada or on our Facebook page.



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