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Cell Phones And Cancer Risk

Q: Is there any truth to the rumor that cell phones can increase your risk of cancer?

Dr. Donnica:
A study out this month (2/01) in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute reports on the health of 420,000 Danish cell phone users over 3 to 10 years. This study found no evidence that there was any difference in risk between cell phone users and non-users for brain cancer, nervous system cancers, leukemia, or salivary gland tumors. There have been other studies on this topic as well, but this is the biggest study yet to provide reassurance about cell phones' safety.

Currently, the Food and Drug Administration tells worried consumers that they can simply use an earphone device to keep the phone's antenna away from the head to minimize cellular radiation exposure.

Of course, there is one MAJOR health risk from cell phone usage: talking and driving at the same time. Cell phone usage increases the risk of motor vehicle accidents by 3-4 times. I recommend minimizing cell phone usage while driving--if it's that important to call someone, pull over. (And this was my recommendation even before I was rear-ended at a red light by someone who was busy talking on his cell phone).

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Created: 2/13/2001  -  Donnica Moore, M.D.

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