Tuesday, May 31, 2011

WHO: Cell Phones May Cause Cancer

Today, the top story on cnn.com is that cell phones may cause brain cancer/tumors. Specifically, the article mentioned gliomas, which is the category that my astrocytoma falls beneath. WOO HOO! I have been waiting for scientists to prove that cell phone radiation is dangerous, even lethal. I truly believe that my brain tumor was caused by my excessive cell phone use.

I bought my first cell phone in 2000 while I was in college. Since then, I've logged millions, maybe even tens of millions of minutes. I was far from home, and used my cell phone to keep in touch with my high school friends, family friends, my brother, my parents, and all of my friends locally around TCU.

I was the girl who always had a cell phone stuck to her ear. If I was driving, I was talking. If was on my patio, I was talking. If I was grocery shopping, I was talking. It's embarrassing now, looking back, how I behaved. When people are on cell phones they think other people can't hear them. I've heard some pretty inappropriate, odd phone conversations just perusing the grocery store, and I'm sure I was no different.

My extreme cell phone use continued when I moved back to Washington. I was in a new city, often spending several hours every night talking to friends. I've used my cell phone as a lifeline. I've counseled many a friend, and likewise been counseled. Most days I logged 5+ hours. Many times when the conversation/conversations ended, my face and ear area were sweaty and hot.

90% of my cell phone conversations were placed on the left side of my head. When I first saw the image of my tumor, I noticed the location. It was exactly where the little antenna of the cell phone was located (remember those guys, you popped up the antenna to get better reception - now they're embedded inside the phone and you don't even see them). I've done some research, and I believe cell phone radiation is the new cigarette smoke. People have always coughed and coughed from smoking, yet we wanted to believe that it wasn't bad for us. The logic with cell phones is right there, it makes your head hot and sweaty. The little cell phone has beams coming from cell towers directly touching your head. The in-use battery pack alone sounds like a dumb idea to have next to your brain. It's all so obvious now.

I wish I would have listened to common sense. I always thought it was eerie that the cell phone caused my ear to heat up and sweat. There had been little blips in the past few years from what I would have considered paranoid fanatics that consistently fear everything. I chalked up radiation to paranoia. The truth, though, is that radiation really does heat your brain. It cooks it, slowly. For people like me, who have been physically attached to their cell phone for hours upon hours a day, then years upon years, the risk is overwhelming. It is scary and now sad.

If I would have read the article below, back in 2000, I like to think that I would have been more careful. I'm a preventative measure woman. I've always taken vitamins, eaten a myriad of vegetables daily, I drink a lot of water, I run, I've always been a money saver, I try and work hard today believing it will pay off tomorrow.

When I first found out I had a brain tumor I stopped talking on my cell phone unless I had it on speaker phone. Radiation is the only thing I can link as a contributing factor to my tumor. I've always been very healthy, my lineage has barely any cancer of any kind, let alone brain tumors. I truly believe that my cell phone use was a catalyst.

If you are interested, please read the article below. You don't have to change your cell phone behavior. That's the beauty of choice, but at least now there's all kinds of information for you to absorb and do with it what you will. Here's how I view it, most people can not live without driving in cars, so, as a safety measure we wear seat-belts. Speaker phone on cell phones is like a seat-belt to cars. We're in a technology culture, and even me, who's scared of radiation, still has a cell phone. I just choose to be more cautious. Who knows what will unfold in the years to come with cell phone radiation, but either way, one thing is for certain, once you have a cancerous tumor, it's too late to prevent it.

WHO: Cell phone use can increase possible cancer risk

By Danielle Dellorto, CNN
May 31, 2011 1:49 p.m. EDT
(CNN) -- Radiation from cell phones can possibly cause cancer, according to the World Health Organization. The agency now lists mobile phone use in the same "carcinogenic hazard" category as lead, engine exhaust and chloroform.

Before its announcement Tuesday, WHO had assured consumers that no adverse health effects had been established.

A team of 31 scientists from 14 countries, including the United States, made the decision after reviewing peer-reviewed studies on cell phone safety. The team found enough evidence to categorize personal exposure as "possibly carcinogenic to humans."

What that means is that right now there haven't been enough long-term studies conducted to make a clear conclusion if radiation from cell phones are safe, but there is enough data showing a possible connection that consumers should be alerted.

Gupta: Cell phones, brain tumors and a wired earpiece
"The biggest problem we have is that we know most environmental factors take several decades of exposure before we really see the consequences," said Dr. Keith Black, chairman of neurology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

The type of radiation coming out of a cell phone is called non-ionizing. It is not like an X-ray, but more like a very low-powered microwave oven.

"What microwave radiation does in most simplistic terms is similar to what happens to food in microwaves, essentially cooking the brain. So in addition to leading to a development of cancer and tumors, there could be a whole host of other effects like cognitive memory function, since the memory temporal lobes are where we hold our cell phones."

The voices urging caution to consumers have gotten louder in recent years.
The European Environmental Agency has pushed for more studies, saying cell phones could be as big a public health risk as smoking, asbestos and leaded gasoline. The head of a prominent cancer-research institute at the University of Pittsburgh sent a memo to all employees urging them to limit cell phone use because of a possible risk of cancer.

"When you look at cancer development -- particularly brain cancer -- it takes a long time to develop. I think it is a good idea to give the public some sort of warning that long-term exposure to radiation from your cell phone could possibly cause cancer," said Dr. Henry Lai, research professor in bioengineering at University of Washington who has studied radiation for over 30 years.

Results from the largest international study on cell phones and cancer was released in 2010. It showed participants in the study who used a cell phones for 10 years or more had doubled the rate of brain glioma, a type of tumor. To date, there have been no long-term studies on the effects of cell phone usage among children.

"Childrens' skulls and scalps are thinner. So the radiation can penetrate deeper into the brain of children and young adults. Their cells are dividing faster rate, so the impact of radiation can be much larger." said Black of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

Manufacturers of many popular cell phones already warn consumers to keep their device away from their body.
The Apple iPhone 4 safety manual says for users' radiation exposure to not exceed FCC guidelines, "When using iPhone near your body for voice calls or for wireless data transmission over a cellular network, keep iPhone at least 15 mm (5/8 inch) away from the body."

Blackberry Bold advises users to, "keep the BlackBerry device at least 0.98 in. (25 mm) from your body when the BlackBerry device is transmitting."


  1. I've long believed this!! Fortunately I am always last in modern technology! Thanks for sharing....I'll have to ask your thoughts on microwaves sometime...I am a little freaked out by those too!

  2. Well Jess, you initially thought the toomah was from cell phone use and now it seems it very likely was. Your plan to give presentations to youngsters has just gained more factual ground. I hope those talks come to fruition as you could save many lives. xoxo Susea


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