CANCER WARNING: Mobile phones could be behind rise in brain tumours, says report

Scientists and charities alike are urging the Government to investigate any potential link between the rise in tumours and the ever growing use of mobile phones.

A team of experts have been investigating the sudden rise of a fatal brain tumour known as Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM).

Scientists from the Physicians’ Health Initiative for Radiation and Environment (PHIRE) analysed 79,241 malignant brain tumours over 21 years and found that since 1991, the number of GBM cases in England have more than doubled from 1,250 to 3,000.

The researchers say in their study published in the Journal of Public Health and Environment that the sharp jump in cases “raises the suspicion that mobile and cordless phone use may be promoting gliomas”.

Professor Denis Henshaw said: “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.”

Study leader Alasdair Philips, of Children with Cancer UK, said: “We found a sustained and highly significant increase in GBM throughout the 21 years and across all ages.

“Interestingly, we found the highest rise in incidence in frontal and temporal regions of the brain.

“This raises the suspicion that mobile and cordless phone use may be promoting gliomas.”

Cancer Research UK says that mobile phones are “unlikely” to be the cause of rising cases of GBM, but admitted “we do not know enough to completely rule out a risk”.

Kevin McConway, Emeritus Professor of Applied Statistics at The Open University, said: “This research does point to something that may well be worth investigating further.

“Other studies in other parts of the world have found similar increases.

“It’s important, though, to understand that this new paper did not examine any new data at all about potential causes for the increase.”

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