ANA Discussion Forum
Pre-Treatment Options => Pre-Treatment Options => Topic started by: annamaria on November 01, 2010, 05:55:38 am
A case-case study of mobile phone use and acoustic neuroma risk in Japan.
Sato Y, Akiba S, Kubo O, Yamaguchi N.
Bioelectromagnetics. 2010 Oct 28. [Epub ahead of print]
Department of Public Health, School of Medicine, Tokyo Women's Medical University, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan.
Results of case-control studies of mobile phone use and acoustic neuroma have been inconsistent. We conducted a case-case study of mobile phone use and acoustic neuroma using a self-administered postal questionnaire. A total of 1589 cases identified in 22 hospitals throughout Japan were invited to participate, and 787 cases (51%) actually participated. Associations between laterality of mobile phone use prior to the reference dates (1 and 5 years before diagnosis) and tumor location were analyzed. The overall risk ratio was 1.08 (95% confidence interval (CI), 0.93-1.28) for regular mobile phone use until 1 year before diagnosis and 1.14 (95% CI, 0.96-1.40) for regular mobile phone use until 5 years before diagnosis. A significantly increased risk was identified for mobile phone use for >20 min/day on average, with risk ratios of 2.74 at 1 year before diagnosis, and 3.08 at 5 years before diagnosis. Cases with ipsilateral combination of tumor location and more frequently used ear were found to have tumors with smaller diameters, suggesting an effect of detection bias. Furthermore, analysis of the distribution of left and right tumors suggested an effect of tumor-side-related recall bias for recall of mobile phone use at 5 years before diagnosis. The increased risk identified for mobile phone users with average call duration >20 min/day should be interpreted with caution, taking into account the possibilities of detection and recall biases.
However, we could not conclude that the increased risk was entirely explicable by these biases, leaving open the possibility that mobile phone use increased the risk of acoustic neuroma.
Bioelectromagnetics Â© 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
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Many folks do not believe that cell phone use contributed to their tumor. I however choose not to put a cell phone to my good ear except on rare occasions. In addition, since I talk all day on a phone I choose to use the speaker phone and not place anything next to my ear. Having SSD is not fun and my heart goes out to folks who are totally deaf. So I have decided to be cautious and protect my hearing.
I agree. I only rarely used a cell phone pre-diagnosis. However, since the studies are inconclusive, I am consciously choosing to use the speaker phone on both my cell and my cordless land line phone to hopefully eliminate any cause for concern in my remaining "good" ear.
Who knows what we do (or where we live, or what we ingest) today may cause a problem in ten/twenty years? ...... for many different things.
For informational purposes:
Cell Phones and Acoustic Neuroma
The widespread use of cell phones and many studies on cell phones and possible associated health risks prompted the ANA Board of Directors to initiate a statement regarding cell phone usage and acoustic neuroma.
This statement is endorsed by our ANA Medical Advisory Board.
This is intended as a cautionary alert. This information is not intended to take the place of advice and guidance from your personal physician. You should always consult with your physician with questions and concerns. It is important to remember that early diagnosis of small tumors provides more treatment options and greater success, with the greater possibility of fewer long-term complications.
There has been much interest and controversy in the past decade regarding the possible role of mobile phones as a cause of brain tumors. The use of cell phones has become ubiquitous around the world and if they played a causative role in a disease process, even such as causing a benign tumor like an acoustic neuroma (AN), it would have tremendous public health complications. According to the International Telecommunication Union, by 2006, 91 persons out of 100 were cell phone subscribers in developed countries. As many as 32 persons per 100 were subscribers in the developing world. There have been 25 epidemiologic studies published between 1999 and 2008 trying to examine the role of mobile phones in the etiology of brain tumors, including ANs. Most notably, a large study from Sweden by Hardell and colleagues, and a multi-institutional study involving 16 centers in 13 countries called INTERPHONE, have admirably tried to answer this important question.
Overall, the best interpretation of the results of these studies does not demonstrate support for an increased risk of developing an AN in frequent cell phone users. However, the science is very suggestive that the most malignant brain cancer (glioblastoma) and a benign brain tumor of the auditory nerve (acoustic neuroma) increased in cell phone users after 10 years of use, and the effect is more pronounced in childrenâ€™s brains. But the science is not absolutely positive, and research in this area is continuing.
The World Health Organization (WHO) announced that long-term use of cell phones may be linked to elevated risk of some types of brain issues. The conclusion, which is reportedly still inconclusive, is derived from a landmark international study overseen by the WHO that has lasted for decades.
The results, though not entirely conclusive, clearly have concerned the WHO. Its head, Dr. Elizabeth Cardis, is quoted as saying â€œIn the absence of definitive results and in the light of a number of studies which, though limited, suggest a possible effect of radio-frequency radiation, precautions are important.â€ There is particular concern regarding use by children, as their thinner skulls are less likely to shield the brain from harmful frequencies.
The Food and Drug Administration says the research â€œdoes not allow us to conclude that mobile phones are absolutely safe, or that they are unsafe.â€
Those who cannot avoid using cell phones may consider the advice offered by the Environmental Working Group to minimize their exposure to radiation.
1. Use a low-level radiation cell phone. Check out www.ewg.org for the best 10 cell phones that emit low-level radiation.
2. Use a headset or speaker.
3. Listen more and talk less. Cell phones emit radiation when you talk or text, but not when you are receiving signals or messages.
4. Hold your cell phone away from your body.
5. Text more and talk less.
6. Stop trying to communicate when the signal is poor. Poor signals mean your cell phone needs to send stronger signals (higher level radiation) to the tower.
7. Donâ€™t allow your children to use or play with your cell phones. Childrenâ€™s brains absorb twice as much radiation as adults.
8. Donâ€™t use the â€œradiation shield.â€ Radiation shields such an antenna caps or keypad covers reduce the connection quality and force the machine to emit higher radiation to deliver a stronger signal.
I posted this because it is the ANA 'official' position on the cell-phone/AN debate, which remains a conundrum. My opinion is that there is no real connection between cell phone use and developing an acoustic neuroma. However, my opinion is worth what you paid for it. Still, until solid scientific evidence is presented to prove otherwise, I remain a skeptic on the alleged 'connection'.
Unfortunately so many of these studies are flawed.
Only 51% of cases were included.
We don't know how the 51% were obtained.
There is often a selection bias.
The 49% that didn't respond may have probably died of old age, or have never used a mobile phone in their lives, so didn't respond to the study.
The moment we lose a percentage of cases, there is selection bias, and this can effect the results.
Despite all the studies, the results are still inconclusive.
If there is an increase in tumour risk, it is small, and thats what makes it even harder to prove either way.
We should take some solice in the fact that after 20+ years of mobile phone use we still don't know, which is proof in itself that using a mobile phone at worst, may increase your chance of getting a tumour slightly.
The jury is still out and we may still be asking the same questions in 10 years from now.
Just stating with my own experience I am definitely not a cell phone user and the few times I do it is with the good ear and not the AN side... Now I am hearing that even with wireless house phones could be a cause ??
I've always used any phone with my left ear. My AN was on the right side.
For me, the jury's out. My AN is left side, I have almost always held the phone (cell, land-line or wireless) with my right hand since I am right handed and therefore, to my right ear. I can't say I was confident that one had nothing to do with the other, but I was hopeful. Then I read the following excerpt from a discourse on Acoustic Neuroma by Robert K. Jackler, MD, Markus Pfister, MD, written in July of 2004 which didn't help any:
"Recent studies have examined the risk of radio frequency radiation emitted from cellular telephones on the development of AN. The hypothesis that intracranial energy deposition from handheld cellular phones might cause AN was tested in an epidemiologic study of 90 patients and 86 control subjects. In patients who used cellular telephones, the tumor occurred more often on the contralateral than ipsilateral side of the head. The relative risk was 0.9 (P = 0.07) and did not vary significantly by the frequency, duration, and lifetime hours of use. The short duration of widespread cellular telephone use, however, precludes definite exclusion as a risk for AN development.
Of course, this was written over six years ago, but . . .
(Sorry Syl, pjb)
As stated, the jury is still out. Fact is, I don't like holding the thing to my ear anyway and use my blue-tooth whenever possible. There's a question. Does the blue-tooth act as a headset (#2 in Jim's post)? At least the signal from the blue-tooth should be pretty consistent.
You beat me to it in posting the official stance of the ANA. As for my personal opinion.... heck, I'll blame all of medical whoas (far too many for me to count for those here that don't know me....) on cell phones, microwave ovens, my mother smoking while pregnant with me and heck, let's throw in dad's exposures while he served during the Korean War.
Jury is out... and for me, I'm sitting on that jury.
Just a note on funded research in general: researchers are more likely to get more money from the government and/or industry when their findings call for more study. This topic was explored a few weeks ago in the Chronicle of Higher Education. One of the topical areas mentioned in the article was of course the cell phone/tumor link.
This is not to say all research is bad or researchers are bad people. Instead it simply reflects the real world. if you conclusively don't find a link, there's never a reason to spend more money studying it. besides, good research is challenging and there are all sorts of reasons why the findings of a research project might not tell the whole story.
There is also another unhappy truth about academic research that sometimes bleeds over into medical research: You don't get published if you don't find a difference (if you don't find something of interest). And if you don't get published, you perish - no tenure, no promotions.
So, what does one do? Act reasonably. Wait until there is a preponderance of research where the findings are clear. If there are common sense things to do, do them. If you feel more comfortable avoiding certain things or doing other things that do not compromise your quality of life, do what makes you comfortable.
For a long time eggs had a bad reputation. Turns out it was ill-deserved.
Thanks for your astute analysis of the research 'business' and it's inherent flaws, no matter the discipline.
We all know the see-saw 'research' conclusions on coffee drinking and other items that are deemed 'risky' by one 'study' and, a year later, 'benign' by another 'study' - while both recommend 'more studies are needed', as the research game continues, ad infinitum. Cell phones are certainly no exception. Your advice to take whatever precautions one may deem prudent rings quite true. I appreciate your views.
This is an issue what we've debated many times on the Forum.
I still say that there is no way my AN was caused by a cell phone. I didn't even start using one until approximately 3 years prior to my diagnosis and when I did use one it was rarely.
I'm on that jury with Phyl.
I also agree that the jury is out ... we should track this issue over time to see if there are future developments.
But on the Bluetooth question, my husband, who has done work in wireless on and off for 30 years tells me that all radio emanations whether cellular (0.8-2.1 GHz), cordless phones (2.5-5 GHz), or Bluetooth (2.5 GHz) can have the same effect in principle and it all depends on the power. Bluetooth devices can go as high as 0.1 watts; the radio waves emitted by a GSM handset can have a peak power of 2 watts, and an old US analog phone had a maximum transmit power of 3.6 watts.
PS: if the phone is mounted against the waist or other part of the body during Bluetooth use, then that part of the body will absorb the radio frequency energy.
I have read this thread with interest - I am currently taking part in a massive Europe wide longitudinal research study in the effects of mobile phone use.
However, so far the results from other studies are not conclusive and interestingly, the Cancer Research UK website states:
"Mobile phones are a recent invention. So far, studies have indicated that using these phones for about 10 years is safe. But we cannot be completely sure about their long-term effects. There have not been enough studies looking at how mobile phones could affect the health of children.
Research is underway to fill both of these gaps in our knowledge. Until we get a conclusive answer, the Government recommends that people take precautions.
It says that if adults want to use a mobile phone, they could choose to minimise their exposure by keeping calls short. And children under the age of 16 should only use mobile phones for essential calls, because their head and nervous systems may still be developing.
So far, the only health issue firmly associated with mobile phones is an increased risk of car accidents! People who use mobile phones while driving, even with a hands-free kit, are easily distracted and are four times more likely to be involved in an accident."
Btw I used to use a phone far more on my right side (AN left) and now of course always on my right - but never whilst driving!
I also agree that the jury is out ... we should track this issue over time to see if there are future developments.
ANA is also tracking this and IMO, it may be quite some time before the jury provides a conclusive verdict.
Thank you Annamaria, and to your husband.
You know, a person's gotta wonder; if so many juries are out for so long, how close of a connection can cell phones actually have to the creation and/or maintenance of or little alien invaders? I realize that I sometimes get rather cavalier, but wouldn't we have more reason to fear if there were stronger correlation between cell phone use and ANs? I don't know, maybe I'm missing the point, but I'm with Tod: "Act reasonably . . ."