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NCI Reports Results of Cell Phone-Brain Cancer Study

NCI Reports Results of Cell Phone-Brain Cancer Study

BETHESDA, Md—The National Cancer Institute has reported results of a study investigating the possible link between brain cancer and cell phone use weeks ahead of its scheduled publication in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Between 1994 and 1998, researchers collected data from 1,600 patients: 800 had brain tumors and 800 were being treated for a variety of noncancerous conditions.

The results show no link between brain tumors and cell phone use or duration of cell phone use, and no evidence that brain tumors occur more often near where the cell phone is held to the head than on the opposite side.

The exposure to radiation from cell phones among the study participants occurred between the mid-1980s and 1998. This is considered a limitation since the explosion in cellular phone use occurred after the beginning of the study, and relatively few study participants had used a cellular phone for a long time. In addition, study participants used primarily analog phones, while digital phones, which operate at a different frequency and power, are more common today.

In addition to cell phones, the NCI study included the potential dangers of a number of other factors, which will be reported on later.

These included occupational exposures, such as solvents, pesticides, and electromagnetic fields; a family history of cancer; dietary factors, including consumption of processed meats, artificial sweeteners, and vitamin and mineral supplements; past medical problems, including head trauma and radiation exposures; reproductive history and hormone use; and the use of hair dyes.

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