Have Cellphones Been Linked to Cancer?

With cancer rates all over the world being on the rise since the 1970s, many explanations have been sought by researchers including having cellphones linked to cancer. But how true is this?


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Various studies have been carried out in order to identify whether or not cell phone usage increases the risk of getting cancer. One such study was carried out on over 420,000 cellphone users for 20 years. The results showed that there was no relationship between cell phones and brain tumors. Another study suggested that there is a link between cellphone use and cancer of the salivary glands. From this however only a few of the participants had malignant tumor. The International agency for Research on Cancer which is a part of the World Health organization has analyzed the data from the above and similar studies. The conclusion is that there is very limited evidence that qualifies cellphone use as a cause of cancer. This however does not rule out the possibility entirely.

There are several reasons why cell phones are being related to the increase in cancer cases. One of these is that cellphones emit radiofrequency energy from their antennas which can be absorbed by nearby body tissue. This is a non-ionizing form of electromagnetic radiation which is characterized by low frequency and energy. Unlike ionizing electromagnetic radiations which have been linked to cancer, there is limited evidence that non-ionizing electromagnetic radiations increase the risk for cancer.

Radio frequency from cellphones has been linked with heating but the levels released by mobile phones are not enough to raise the body temperature except the part where the device touches. Radio frequency energy has also been linked to changes in glucose metabolism though this is yet to be confirmed.

The bottom line is that cell phones may or may not be causing cancer, the available information is not conclusive. More research is still being carried out to determine this.