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Cancer study proves cell phone risk

The first study ever to prove that using a cell phoneincreases the risk of cancer has concluded in Sweden. Thestudy is considered relatively small, though it is thelargest of its kind ever to prove the connection betweencell phones and cancer.

Researchers at The Karolinska Institute followed 148patients with acoustic neuroma (a benign tumor on the nervejoining the ear and the brain) and 600 healthy controls. Ofthe 148 acoustic neuroma patients, 14 were regular cellphone users for at least a decade, as were 29 of the 600control patients. While normal statistical risk fordeveloping acoustic neuroma is 1 in 100,000, the researchersconcluded that the risk is doubled for cell phone users.Additionally, the position of the tumor seemed to coincidewith the ear against which the cell phone is normally held.

The Swedish study is part of INTERPHONE, a multi-countryresearch study organized by the World Health Organization?sInternational Agency for Research on Cancer. The firstcountry to report results was Denmark, whose scientists atthe Institute of Cancer Epidemiology in Copenhagen couldfind no link between tumors and cell phone use. However,they did conclude that tumors of cell phone users werelarger than non-users.

The results of all INTERPHONE studies should be finalizedand released in early 2005. A group of countriesparticipating in the study is already discussing a largescale follow-up study of 250,000 subjects in order tovalidate any significant findings.

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