Is Ted Kennedy’s Cancer Linked to Cell Phone Use?
Wednesday, June 4, 2008 10:00 AM
Reported in both these papers, among others
By: Sylvia Booth Hubbard
Senator Ted Kennedy’s diagnosis of a malignant brain tumor is, once again, stirring debate over the safety of cell phones. Kennedy’s brain tumor, called a glioma, is the type critics have associated for years with the use of cell phones.
Prominent neurosurgeons have stated they do not use cell phones held next to their ears. “I use it on the speaker-phone mode,” said Dr. Vini Khurana, a prominent researcher and an associate professor of neurosurgery at the Australian National University. “I do not hold it to my ear.” Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN’s chief medical correspondent and a neurosurgeon at Emory University Hospital admitted that, he too, used an earpiece.
CTIA – the Wireless Association and the FDA both say that studies show cell phones are not a health risk. Other experts disagree. They point to research that indicates a link between cell phones and three types of tumors: glioma (the type Senator Kennedy has); cancer of a salivary gland near the ear called the parotid; and acoustic neuroma, which is a tumor found near the ear. An Israeli study published last year found a 58 percent increase in risk for parotid tumors among people who relied heavily on their cell phones. And a Swedish study found the risk for glioma and acoustic neuroma doubled after ten years of heavy use.
Since cell phones are relatively new, there hasn’t been a chance for long-term studies that will settle the question of whether there is truly a link between cell phone use and brain tumors. Some critics express particular concern for children who begin using cell phones as kids and continue throughout their lives. “More and more kids are using cell phones,” said Dr. Paul Rosch, clinical professor of medicine and psychiatry at New York Medical College. “They may be much more affected. Their brains are growing rapidly and their skulls are thinner.”
Dr. Khurana admits that cell phones are convenient and can save lives in an emergency, but he says that “there is a significant and increasing body of evidence for a link between mobile phone usage and certain brain tumors,” adding that malignant brain tumors are “a life-ending diagnosis.
“It is anticipated that this danger has far broader public health ramifications than asbestos and smoking,” he said.
BioElectric Shield Note: I think we all remember when smoking and asbestos was said to be safe.
AC Associated Content / Health
Many Studies Point to Cell Phone Cancer Risks Raised by Recent Warning from Pittsburgh Cancer Institute
Ted Kennedy's Cancer Diagnosis Also Increased Brain Tumor Questions and Concerns
When Senator Ted Kennedy was diagnosed with a type of malignant brain tumor called glioma, people started talking about more than that news, as sad as it was. They also wondered about the link between cell phones, brain tumors and cancer. They weren't the only ones. There had been many studies conducted, all trying to determine the connection between cell phone use and cancer (see sources at end of article). More info about that is below. But what about the latest news?
The latest buzz and cell phone cancer news is centered on The Director of the Pittsburgh Cancer Center, Dr. Ronald B. Herberman, who recently added to the debate about cell phones and cancer risks when he warned his faculty and staff against using the phones frequently. He wanted them to actually limit their use. This didn't appear to be a cost-cutting move or an attempt to get staff to stop chatting on phones and pay attention to patients. No, Dr. Herberman's instructions seemed to be based on genuine concerns about the risk of cell phones causing cancer, even though studies are far from definitive about whether so-called cell phone cancer is real.
The doctor didn't seem willing to wait for more studies to come out. He sent out a memo to at least 3,000 of his staff, specifically directing them to keep the phone away from their heads because of possible brain cancer risks. Staff was also to keep the phones away from the heads of children and other patients. Children have developing brains, a potential reason for extra caution and care.
The connection between Senator Ted Kennedy, glioma, brain tumors, cell phones, cancer studies and The Pittsburgh Cancer Center warning
As mentioned above, Senator Ted Kennedy was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor after he had seizures and other symptoms. The type of brain cancer, glioma, has been the focus of many medical studies revolving around cell phones and cancer. Although results have differed, there are a fair number of doctors and medical researchers who've felt that the results were truly worrisome. They concluded that there could indeed be a significant and real risk of brain tumors for those using cell phones.
The bottom line? If Dr. Herberman is worried about the potential risk of cell phones, he is not alone. He isn't just some isolated doctor making headlines because he has cautioned his staff against using cell phones. Others have wondered about this before and researchers have been trying
Many aren't willing to wait until medical studies prove that cell phones cause cancer. They think the time to act is now.
One reason why? Many parents, myself included, know teens who walk around with cell phones practically glued to their ears. Children and teens have brains which are still developing, a fact apparently pointed out by Dr. Herberman. The issue seems to be the electromagnetic radiation which comes from cell phones. Could they cause cell phone cancer, especially brain cancer?
As a parent, I'm not willing to wait. Maybe I'm reacting too soon. But I'm paying heed to this, Ted Kennedy's brain cancer and Dr. Herberman's warning. I'm going to be limiting my son's use of the cell phone. I don't expect to be very popular with him for the next few days. I'll take my chances.
Support for Dr. Herberman's warning about cell phones and cancer is by no means unanimous
There are plenty of people who disagree. Many studies and even the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) point to opposite conclusions. They indicate that the risk of getting cancer from cell phones is small. But when a director of the Pittsburgh Cancer Center cautions people against using cell phones, it is hard not to pay attention. Until I find out more, I want my son to limit his use of the phone. However, it is worth noting that a review of studies and information about cell phones and cancer studies is worth pursuing. Those studies are too numerous to describe in detail here.
What you need to know about cell phones, cancer and brain tumors
If cell phones can cause brain cancer, electromagnetic radiation may be the cause. Cell phones are often used by placing them next to the head, possibly allowing this radiation to increase the risk of cancer - most notably, brain cancer and tumors.
Here is what I'm doing for now. While continuing to read everything I can on the subject, I'm also erring on the side of caution and that seems to be what the director of the Pittsburgh Cancer Center is doing as well. At the same time, it is only fair to note that aren't a lot of major centers issuing similar kinds of warnings. Also, opinions and the results of studies differ. However, unlike the videos which indicated that cell phones could make popcorn pop, there may be more potential for truth here. Cell phones may turn out to be linked to brain cancers, including rare glioma tumors like the one found in Senator Kennedy.
1. The Boston Globe, May 20, 2008, Globe Staff. Article: Senator Kennedy Diagnosed with Brain Tumor; Prognosis Seen as Uncertain
2. Glioma Brain Tumor: Senator Ted Kennedy -What Does it Mean?, Medicinenet.com, www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp
3. Studies about brain cell tumors and cell phone use from the American Journal of Epidemiology, summarized in Oxford Journals :aje.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/164/3/294
4.Pittsburgh Cancer Center Warns of Cell Phone Risks, ABC News (Borenstein and Yates), July 24, 2008: abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory
Note from BioElectric Shield
When doctors start sending memos to their staffs warning them to limit their cell phone use, I think we should all pay attention. I'm not willing either to be part of the stats proving the dangers in 30 years.
Given all the times we've been misguided on dangers of other products it amazes me that so many people are willing to ignore the potential. This is a situation that can only grow over time.
We suggest multi-layer protection Waveshields on on your phones and headsets, limiting usage AND wearing a BioEllectric Shield to protect you from the cell phone Wi-Fi, Wi Max AND all the other technology bombarding you today.
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