May 28th, 2008
12:09 PM ET

Cancer and cell phones

By Dr. Sanjay Gupta
Chief Medical Correspondent

Last night, I was part of a fascinating discussion on "Larry King Live" about cell phones and their health risks. (watch) To be clear, most of the established scientific community thinks there is no reason for concern. There were, however, some strong voices on each side of the issue, including neurosurgeon Vini Khurana from Australia. He is convinced, after looking at hundreds of studies, that not only do cell phones cause health problems such as brain tumors, but also they will eventually be considered a bigger health risk than asbestos and even cigarettes.


Now, I expected a staunch defense from the American Cancer Society, but instead I heard a more tepid response from Dr. Michael Thun. His bottom-line conclusion is that the studies that currently exist don't show any reason for concern – but – the studies aren't definitive in showing that they are safe either. Not exactly reassuring.

Over the last year, I have reviewed nearly a hundred studies on this topic, including the 19 large epidemiological studies. I urge you to do the same and read carefully to see what you think. Here is an example from a Swedish paper showing no increased risk of a brain tumor, known as acoustic neuroma. (see study) As you read the paper, you will find they defined a "regular" cell phone user as someone who uses a cell phone once per week during six months or more. I don't know about you, but everyone I know uses his or her cell phones much more frequently than that. So, just how reliable are some of these studies?

Furthermore, many of the studies published since 2000 followed patients only three years on average. And, even a Danish study that did have longer-term follow-up excluded anyone under the age of 18. So, what about children who will presumably be using these phones for the rest of their lives?

Mobile devices give off non-ionizing radiation radio frequency. This is different from the ionizing radiation of an X-ray, which everyone agrees can be harmful in large doses. The recommendation by the two neurosurgeons on the panel yesterday – Khurana and Dr. Keith Black, chairman of neurosurgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles – wear a wired ear piece. Even Bluetooth devices give off some radiation, although at lower doses. Don't carry your cell phone in your pocket; instead put it in a holster that meets industry standards.

What do you think? As Larry reminded us last night, it took a long time to develop a cause-and-effect relationship between cigarettes and lung cancer. Nowadays, everyone knows it exists. Is the same thing happening with cell phones? (more from Dr. Gupta on cell phones and cancer)

Editor's Note: Medical news is a popular but sensitive subject rooted in science. We receive many comments on this blog each day; not all are posted. Our hope is that much will be learned from the sharing of useful information and personal experiences based on the medical and health topics of the blog. We encourage you to focus your comments on those medical and health topics and we appreciate your input. Thank you for your participation.

soundoff (175 Responses)
  1. xemkqxs

    Your way of describing all in this paragraph is in fact nice, all can without difficulty understand it, Thanks a lot.|


    February 6, 2021 at 11:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. https://j-website.net

    This is something New !


    February 6, 2021 at 16:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. hott products unlimited

    Can someone recommend We-Vibe? Cheers x


    February 9, 2021 at 03:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Europa-Road Kft.

    Hi my loved one! I want to say that this post is amazing, nice written and come with almost all vital infos. I would like to look more posts like this .


    February 9, 2021 at 04:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Europa-Road

    With havin so much content do you ever run into any problems of plagorism or copyright infringement? My website has a lot of completely unique content I've either created myself or outsourced but it appears a lot of it is popping it up all over the internet without my permission. Do you know any ways to help stop content from being stolen? I'd genuinely appreciate it.


    February 9, 2021 at 04:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Kids Hairstyles

    Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wished to say that I have truly enjoyed browsing your blog posts. In any case I will be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again very soon!


    February 9, 2021 at 07:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Easy Hairstyles

    I don抰 even know how I stopped up right here, however I assumed this put up was good. I don't know who you are but definitely you are going to a well-known blogger when you aren't already 😉 Cheers!


    February 9, 2021 at 09:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Hairstyles

    Thanks for the suggestions you talk about through this site. In addition, several young women exactly who become pregnant usually do not even attempt to get medical insurance because they are concerned they probably would not qualify. Although many states at this point require that insurers offer coverage no matter the pre-existing conditions. Charges on most of these guaranteed options are usually greater, but when thinking about the high cost of health care bills it may be a safer route to take to protect the financial future.


    February 10, 2021 at 12:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. emf symptoms

    What's up, its fastidious post regarding media print, we all understand media is a impressive source of information.

    February 11, 2021 at 13:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. protective face masks

    I couldn't disagree more- and maybe I should!! LOL


    February 14, 2021 at 19:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. video game news today

    good article, thanks. i just signed up to your blog rss feed.

    February 16, 2021 at 01:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. High-Do-Follow Forum-Backlinks

    Create a profitable digital marketing strategy and plan: https://www.seoclerk.com/Virtual-Assistant/840836/I-will-create-a-profitable-digital-marketing-strategy-and-plan


    February 16, 2021 at 08:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Bun Hairstyles

    I will right away grab your rss feed as I can't find your email subscription link or newsletter service. Do you have any? Please let me know so that I could subscribe. Thanks.


    February 16, 2021 at 22:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Short Hairstyles

    Thanks for the suggestions you write about through this site. In addition, numerous young women who become pregnant don't even try and get medical care insurance because they have anxiety they might not qualify. Although a few states at this point require that insurers supply coverage irrespective of the pre-existing conditions. Fees on these kind of guaranteed plans are usually higher, but when thinking about the high cost of medical treatment it may be the safer way to go to protect one's financial future.


    February 17, 2021 at 05:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. WEXX Astrological Studio


    February 17, 2021 at 17:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Hack Stacks

    Great blog you've got here.. It's difficult to find good quality writing
    like yours nowadays. I honestly appreciate individuals like you!
    Take care!!

    February 18, 2021 at 22:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. forex trading



    February 19, 2021 at 02:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. network installation

    Have you ever considered writing an e-book or guest authoring on other sites? I have a blog based on the same ideas you discuss and would love to have you share some stories/information. I know my subscribers would value your work. If you are even remotely interested, feel free to shoot me an e-mail.


    February 21, 2021 at 05:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. best face mask

    I like how you make it simple. How helpful!


    February 22, 2021 at 02:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. face mask

    This is better info than I can find elsewhere.


    February 22, 2021 at 06:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. medication for hypertension

    Today, considering the fast way of life that everyone leads, credit cards have a huge demand in the economy. Persons throughout every area are using the credit card and people who are not using the card have arranged to apply for 1. Thanks for discussing your ideas on credit cards. https://hypertensionmedi.com medication for hypertension https://hypertensionmedi.com/

    February 22, 2021 at 19:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. https://topphimhot.net

    Best view i have ever seen !


    February 23, 2021 at 01:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Black Flag Vapors

    Let me know Vapor Eruption ecig shop located in 337 Charles Drive sells vape juice made by Nomad Nectar? I have emailed them at ecc.vabeach@gmail.com


    February 24, 2021 at 13:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Lyda

    mercury vehicles wikipedia


    February 26, 2021 at 20:10 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4

Leave a Reply to Drug Test Detox


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.