Dr Oz worries about cell phones too

More on cell phones and brain tumors: a reader yesterday sent along a link to an earlier commentary by Mehmet Oz, the cardiac surgeon/author/media guru who has also weighed in with advice that links between cell phone use and cancer are indicated.

We rely on them to connect us to the people we love, to help us stay organized, and, in an emergency, to keep us safe. But more and more experts are saying that cell phones may pose a very serious health risk – increasing your chance of developing a brain tumor.

That means that over 270 million Americans may be playing Russian roulette with their cell phones every day. Each year, more than 21,000 adults and 1,500 children are diagnosed with brain tumors, and researchers believe some of them may have been caused by talking on a mobile phone.

A new study examined a decade’s worth of research and concluded that people who use cell phones for more than 10 years are up to 30% more likely to develop brain tumors than people who rarely use them.

Nothing has shown proof — yet — that if you use a cell phone often enough, long enough, you’re going to get brain cancer. Dr. Oz lists ways to improve your chances — keep your phone in your pocket, use it on speaker (and Lord help us all when everyone’s not just on cell but on speaker…), use wired rather than wireless when possible. And however much some of us vow we’ll resist texting to the bitter end, atrophied thumbs might still be preferable to brain cancer.

Still, the cell phone industry is not going to issue credible warnings. The FCC should do so.


  1. You just can’t catch a break. My Iphone is my most enjoyable piece of equipment. I can keep in touch with the wife and grown kids, receive e-mails, text, the internet with all that allows. Now I have to worry about brain cancer! I’ve heard the rumors before. A couple of weeks ago I heard the news about the link between men who take sildenafils and heart disease. You get older and solve a problem and another head grows. My trade exposes me to lead. A couple of months ago I found out that I had a 16 (a micro measurement for lead in the blood.) Average in an adult is 5. So now that I’m finally successful – I might get sick? Living off the grid is appealing. Tom Medlicott

    1. I’m with you, Tom. Plus, I bought into hormone replacement therapy when it was believed the be-all and end-all. Of course, I grew up in the days of (wonderful) unsafe playgrounds — anybody remember the see-saws and merry-go-rounds of yore? — and my kids grew up without car seats, and we’re all alive and well, so go figure. My concern is for those who today have a cell phone plastered to their ear for hours at a stretch and who, 20 years from now, might be dropping dead when they ought to be still in their prime. If users were adequately informed about risks, and phone companies would quit stonewalling (“Oh, everything’s fine; we meet FCC guidelines”) and start looking for safety, we could avert a lot of tragedies ahead.

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