Last week, three prominent neurosurgeons told the CNN interviewer Larry King that they did not hold cellphones next to their ears. “I think the safe practice,” said Dr. Keith Black, a surgeon at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, “is to use an earpiece so you keep the microwave antenna away from your brain.”
Dr. Vini Khurana, an associate professor of neurosurgery at the Australian National University who is an outspoken critic of cellphones, said: “I use it on the speaker-phone mode. I do not hold it to my ear.” And CNN’s chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, a neurosurgeon at Emory University Hospital, said that like Dr. Black he used an earpiece.
Along with Senator Edward M. Kennedy’s recent diagnosis of a glioma, a type of tumor that critics have long associated with cellphone use, the doctors’ remarks have helped reignite a long-simmering debate about cellphones and cancer.
That supposed link has been largely dismissed by many experts, including the American Cancer Society. The theory that cellphones cause brain tumors “defies credulity,” said Dr. Eugene Flamm, chairman of neurosurgery at Montefiore Medical Center.
Friday, June 06, 2008
Cellphones Causing Cancer?
A recent article again raises the possible link between cellphones and neurological cancers:
I'm not sure why, but I feel like such views are unduly alarmist. If a definitive study does not yet exist, then those who believe such an association does exist should construct a definitive study and perform the research, versus going to the media and sounding "possible" alarms. This reminds me of the news stories every year of some random natural good that either causes or cures cancer/heart disease/diabetes. For example, the research on alcohol is confusing. You should drink a glass of wine a day to prevent heart disease, but any more, and you increase the risk of liver disease and other adverse effects. I feel like ambiguous research findings should be kept out of the public arena until something definitive can be said. Unless this is done, we as physicians risk confusing our patients and losing their trust. Just my $0.02.