No link found between brain cancer and mobile use

Despite a dramatic increase in the use of mobile phones, there hasn’t been a matching rise in the incidence of brain cancer, reports a new study by scientists at the University of Auckland.

Credit: Tim Parkinson@Flickr
Credit: Tim Parkinson/Flickr

The research, which looked at trends in primary brain cancer incidence in New Zealand between 1995 and 2010 from New Zealand’s national cancer registry, calls into question claims that mobile phone radiation could be causing brain cancers.

“There has been no general increase [in brain cancer incidences],” says Mark Elwood, Professor in Cancer Epidemiology and co-author of the study.

“In fact, for the wide age range 10 to 69 years, there has been a decrease of about one percent per year.”

He says they have no idea what was behind the small decrease, but that this study along with similar studies done in other countries suggest that previous reports of large increases in risk in mobile phone users are likely to be incorrect.

“But a study of this type cannot exclude a small risk, or one limited to a certain subtype of cancers, or a risk only arising after more than about 15 years of phone use,” he says.

Read more on the University of Auckland website.

The research has been widely covered in national and Australian media. Examples include:

Radio New Zealand: Brain cancer drop despite mobile phone use
3 News: No rise in brain tumours despite mobile revolution
One News: Does mobile phone usage increase your risk of a brain tumour?
New Zealand Herald: Study eases brain cancer fear, despite increase in cellphone use
Newstalk ZB: Mobile phone use not linked to brain cancer
NZ Doctor: NZ brain cancer rates fall slightly after dramatic rise in mobile phone use
Business Insider Australia: Brain cancer rates haven’t risen with the use of mobile phones
The Australian: No brain cancer boom despite more phones