Mobile Phone Use Not Causing Brain Cancer

Mobile Phone Use Not Causing Brain CancerMobile Phone Use Not Causing Brain Cancer

Mobile phone use has not caused a rise in brain cancer in Australia, says a new study led by the University of Sydney.

Despite the near complete uptake of mobile phones among Australians over the past 29 years, the communications devices, which emit electromagnetic radiation, are not correlated to incidences of brain cancer, the authors claim.

‘Has the incidence of brain cancer risen in Australia since the introduction of mobile phones 29 years ago?’ published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology on Thursday, goes against the claims of American epidemiologist Devra Davis, who raised concerns over the dangers of mobile phone use during his visit to Sydney in November.

For the study, trends analysis of mobile phone use was compared with national cancer data, which shows 19,858 males and 14,222 females aged 20-84 were diagnosed with brain cancer between 1982 and 2012.

Expected estimates of brain cancer incidences were based on former studies that indicated an increase in the disease of up to 150% in heavy mobile phone users.

But, taking into account a predicted 10-year lag rate for the disease to emerge, the scientists found no correlation between rises in phone use and the disease.

“Brain cancer incidence between 1982 and 2013 has not increased in any age group except those aged 70-84,” the authors state, showing that incidences of cancer, for the most part, remained static over the study period.

The rise in incidences among the older group was more likely to be from increased accuracy around detection, the authors hypothesize.

“The rise started before mobile phones were even available in Australia. It’s almost certainly attributable to the rise in Australia of more advanced diagnostic techniques,” Simon Chapman, study lead and Emeritus Professor in Public Health at the University of Sydney, said.

He said that the paper was now the fifth national study - after those in the US, Nordic countries, England and New Zealand - that had reached the same conclusion.

“They are consistent in showing, over the time that mobile phones have been around - 29 years in Australia, there’s just been no increase in brain cancer in the population.” He said the study took in extremely large numbers and used only publicly accessible data.