David Kirkpatrick

December 3, 2009

Cell phones and brain cancer

Maybe there isn’t too much to worry about after all. Lots of frightening real and virtual ink has been spilled on the topic of cell phone usage and brain tumors. Looks like current research isn’t seeing a problem there. Of course brain cancer is not the only medical worry with cell phone usage.

From the first link, the release:

No change in brain tumor incidence during a time when cell phone usage increased

There was no substantial change in brain tumor incidence among adults 5 to 10 years after cell phone usage sharply increased, according to a new brief communication published online December 3 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Although cell phone use has been proposed as a risk factor for brain tumors, a biological mechanism to explain this association is not known.

Isabelle Deltour, Ph.D., of the Institute of Cancer Epidemiology, Danish Cancer Society, in Copenhagen, and colleagues analyzed annual incidence rates of glioma and meningioma among adults aged 20󈞻 years from Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden. Researchers identified 60,000 patients who were diagnosed with these types of brain tumors between 1974 and 2003.

The researchers found that incidence rates over this 30 year-period were stable, decreased, or continued a gradual increase that started before the introduction of cell phones. They also found no change in incidence trends in brain tumors from 1998 to 2003. The authors say this finding may be due to one of several reasons: that the induction period relating cell phone use to brain tumors exceeds 5󈝶 years; that the increased risk in this population is too small to be observed; that the increased risk is restricted to subgroups of brain tumors or cell phone users; or that there is no increased risk.

The authors did not assess cell phone usage at the individual level during this time period, only brain tumor incidence.

“Because of the high prevalence of mobile phone exposure in this population and worldwide, longer follow-up of time trends in brain tumor incidence rates are warranted,” the authors write.

Note:

The Journal of the National Cancer Institute is published by Oxford University Press and is not affiliated with the National Cancer Institute. Attribution to the Journal of the National Cancer Institute is requested in all news coverage.

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August 26, 2009

Ted Kennedy, RIP

Filed under: et.al., Politics — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:47 pm

Whatever your opinion of the longtime senator from Massachusetts as a man, a statesman or simply as a politician, you have to admit he played the game in D.C. for as long and as well as anyone in modern memory. Many senators serve a very long time, very few remain so engaged and relevant their entire time in office. Until his sudden illness Ted was an active participant on Capital Hill.

From the linked NYT obituary:

Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, a son of one of the most storied families in American politics, a man who knew acclaim and tragedy in near-equal measure and who will be remembered as one of the most effective lawmakers in the history of the Senate, died late Tuesday night. He was 77.

The death of Mr. Kennedy, who had been battling brain cancer, was announced Wednesday morning in a statement by the Kennedy family, which was already mourning the death of the senator’s sister Eunice Kennedy Shriver two weeks earlier.

“Edward M. Kennedy — the husband, father, grandfather, brother and uncle we loved so deeply – died late Tuesday night at home in Hyannis Port,” the statement said. “We’ve lost the irreplaceable center of our family and joyous light in our lives, but the inspiration of his faith, optimism, and perseverance will live on in our hearts forever.”