An Australian study adds to the growing evidence that shows using mobile phones does not increase the risk of getting brain cancer.
Brain cancer is such a rare malignancy that the rate of being diagnosed with it is less than 1 percent. However, the prognosis can be pretty grim.
For example, the five-year survival rate of patients between 20 and 44 years old for glioblastoma, one of the most aggressive forms, is only 17 percent. It drops to 4 percent for older patients 55 to 64 years old, according to the American Cancer Society.
The discussion as to whether mobile phone use can lead to brain cancer has thus become contentious. Proponents believe that the radiofrequency waves emitted by these portable devices are enough to increase such cancer risk.
A new Australian research, though, wishes to debunk that.
"Mobile phone use in Australia has increased rapidly since its introduction in 1987 with whole population usage being 94 percent by 2014. We explored the popularly hypothesized association between brain cancer incidence and mobile phone use," said the researchers.
For the study, the team looked into the national cancer registry data of 14,222 females and 19,858 males who had been diagnosed with brain cancer from 1982 to 2012. They then compared the information with mobile phone use from the time it was introduced in the country in 1987 to 2012.
Upon analysis, they discovered that there was an increase of incidence of brain cancer in males, while the incidence rates were stable in females over the last 30 years. The increase, meanwhile, was more pronounced among those who are 70 years old and above.
However, the research emphasizes that the increase may not be related to mobile phone use as the uptrend of incidence rate among seniors started in 1982, way before the device came about in Australia. The increase may also be due to better diagnostics and detection methods.
"Rather, we hypothesize that the observed increases in brain cancer incidence in Australia are related to the advent of improved diagnostic procedures when computed tomography and related imaging technologies were introduced in the early 1980s," concluded the researchers.
The study seems to corroborate other existing researches that show there's no consistent evidence linking cellphone use to brain cancer, especially since the kind of electromagnetic radiation mobile devices emit is non-ionizing.
Of course, there's much to learn about how mobile phones really affect and interact with our body, and it's not likely that the long-heated debate will stop. However, for now, this recent study says your iPhone is completely safe to use.
The study is now available in Cancer Epidemiology.