A new study has revealed that the rates of malignant brain tumors in England has more than doubled over the past two decades, once again raising concerns regarding the effects of radiation on human health. While the study does not offer any insight into the cause of the increase in specific types of brain cancer, they speculate that changes in lifestyle choices may be to blame, referring to a variety of possible causes, including the potential link between cell phone use and brain tumors.

The study, conducted by the Physicians’ Health Initiative for Radiation and Environment (PHIRE), was initially intended to investigate the increase of cases of Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM), a particularly aggressive, and typically fatal, form of brain cancer; this is the same condition Anne Strieber struggled with for over two years before passing away in August 2015. What the study found was that the rate of GBM cases in England increased from 2.4 per 100,000 people per year to 5.0 per 100,000, between 1995 and 2015, an increase that initially went unnoticed as the rise was "mostly hidden in the overall data by a reduced incidence of lower grade tumors," according to the study. The rate of increase in brain tumors overall had begun to level off around the turn of the millennium, after a marked rise in these diseases that started in the mid-seventies; GBM, however, followed a different trend.

Needless to say, the big question is what is behind this dramatic increase? Although the study draws no conclusions, it does discuss factors such as radiation from X-rays, CT scans and atmospheric atomic bomb test fallout; however, the specter of transmissions from mobile phones is still first and foremost the most popular suspect, especially considering that the study’s timeline covers the period where cell phones rose in popularity.

PHIRE researcher and study co-author Professor Denis Henshaw says that the increase in brain tumors "raises the suspicion that mobile and cordless phone use may be promoting gliomas".

"Our findings illustrate the need to look more carefully at, and to try and explain the mechanisms behind, these cancer trends, instead of brushing the causal factors under the carpet and focusing only on cures."

However, senior lecturer in epidemiology and public health at University College London, Lion Shahab, cautions that, despite the apparent link between an increase in GBM and cell phone use, correlation does not necessarily mean causation, and that more statistical analysis needs to be done to determine potential causes.

"While mobile phone usage in the population increased from less than 15% to 95% over the time period studied, we do not see the same increase in malignant brain tumors," meaning that while both cell phone use and GBM rates both increased over the period studied, the two factors did not rise at the same rate. "This suggests that the strength of any effect, if present, would have to be small." Shahab said.

"For now, linking a rise in malignant brain tumors to mobile phone usage remains speculative and should not detract from encouraging lifestyle changes which are known to reduce cancer risk, such as adopting a healthy diet, reducing alcohol consumption and stopping smoking."

Be sure to read The Afterlife Revolution, Anne and Whitley’s new book about their continued contact between this world and the next… 

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