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Brain cancer incidence trends in relation to cellular telephone use in the United States

By Peter D. Inskip, Robert N. Hoover and Susan S. Devesa

Abstract

The use of cellular telephones has grown explosively during the past two decades, and there are now more than 279 million wireless subscribers in the United States. If cellular phone use causes brain cancer, as some suggest, the potential public health implications could be considerable. One might expect the effects of such a prevalent exposure to be reflected in general population incidence rates, unless the induction period is very long or confined to very long-term users. To address this issue, we examined temporal trends in brain cancer incidence rates in the United States, using data collected by the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program. Log-linear models were used to estimate the annual percent change in rates among whites. With the exception of the 20–29-year age group, the trends for 1992–2006 were downward or flat. Among those aged 20–29 years, there was a statistically significant increasing trend between 1992 and 2006 among females but not among males. The recent trend in 20–29-year-old women was driven by a rising incidence of frontal lobe cancers. No increases were apparent for temporal or parietal lobe cancers, or cancers of the cerebellum, which involve the parts of the brain that would be more highly exposed to radiofrequency radiation from cellular phones. Frontal lobe cancer rates also rose among 20–29-year-old males, but the increase began earlier than among females and before cell phone use was highly prevalent. Overall, these incidence data do not provide support to the view that cellular phone use causes brain cancer

Topics: Basic and Translational Investigations
Publisher: Oxford University Press
OAI identifier: oai:pubmedcentral.nih.gov:3098028
Provided by: PubMed Central
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