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Air Pollution May Raise Blood Pressure
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Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
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Uncover Why Turmeric Helps You Heal
Holistic Treatment for Candida Infection
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Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
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Safe Toys for Dogs
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Cane Use May Cut Progression of Knee Osteoarthritis
Most Kids With Type 1 Diabetes Lack Vitamin D
'Snowbirds' Beware the Climate Changes
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Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
Well Water Might Raise Bladder Cancer Risk
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Late-Life Fatherhood May Lower Child's Intelligence
Medication Errors Could Be Cut: Experts
For Dialysis Patients, More Pills = Lower Quality of Life
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Salt Boosts Blood Pressure in High-Risk Patients
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Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
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Gum Disease Might Boost Cancer Risk
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Drug May Not Help Diabetes-Related Eye Damage
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Older Diabetics With Depression Face Higher Death Rate
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Red Meat No No No But Oily Fish Yes Yes Yes
Quick Weight Loss May Be Best for Long-Term Success
Compound in Red Wine Fights Ravages of Age
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Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
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Showerheads Harbor a Bounty of Germs
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Is It Safe to Go in the Gulf Coast's Water?
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Statin Drugs Cause Eye Disorders
Cases of Age-Related Farsightedness to Soar
Omega-3 Foods May Lower Eye Disease Risk
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Keep Safety in Mind While Your Kids Are Cooling Off in the Water
Living With Less TV, More Sweat Boosts Weight Loss
FDA Mandates New Warnings for Botox
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Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
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Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Research Confirms How Valuable A Healthy Lifestyle Can Be
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Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
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Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
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Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
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Low Vitamin D Levels Linked to Heart Disease
How Weight Loss Can Help the Heart
Fewer Heart Attacks After England Goes Smoke-Free
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
The HPV Vaccine: Preventative Medicine or Human Sacrifice?
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
Viral Infection Might Trigger High Blood Pressure
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Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
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Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
Bullying Seems to Affect Kids Years Later
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Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Sunlight May Help Protect Men From Kidney Cancer
Physical Activity May Prolong Survival After Colon Cancer
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Chocolate a Sweet Pick-Me-Up for the Depressed
Eight Spiritual Universal Principles in the Art of Practice
Meaningful Conversations Boost Kids' Language Skills
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Calcium Supplements Cut Blood Lead Levels During Pregnancy
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
Placebo Acupuncture Tied to Higher IVF Pregnancies
SENIORS
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
Many Cancer Survivors Don't Adopt Healthy Lifestyle
Martial Arts Training May Save Seniors' Hips
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SLEEP DISORDERS
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Exercise, Weight Control May Keep Fibromyalgia at Bay
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Caffeine in Pregnancy Associated With Low Birth Weight Risk
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Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors

(HealthDay News) -- The latest study focusing on a possible cell phone-brain tumor connection finds a weak potential link between the two.

A review of existing research on the topic, published online Oct. 13 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, discerned no overall link. But when the spotlight was turned on only the more methodologically rigorous studies, a potentially harmful association was found.

Combined with similarly murky conclusions from earlier research, this leaves the world's four billion cell phone users with no clear indication of what risk, if any, they are taking when they converse on the go.

"We cannot make any definitive conclusions about this," said one expert, Dr. Deepa Subramaniam, director of the Brain Tumor Center at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center in Washington, D.C. "But this study, in addition to all the previous studies, continues to leave lingering doubt as to the potential for increased risk. So, one more time, after all these years, we don't have a clear-cut answer."

"What makes me worry," she stated, "is that the higher quality studies [seen here] did indeed show an association."

Joel Moskowitz, the study's senior author, said that "clearly there is risk." He's director of the Center for Family and Community Health at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health.

"I would not allow children to use a cell phone, or I at least would require them to use a separate headset," Moskowitz said. "It seems fairly derelict of us as a society or as a planet to just disseminate this technology to the extent that we have without doing a whole lot more research of the potential harms and how to protect against those harms. Clearly, we need to learn a whole lot more about this technology."

Some in the technology industry disagree.

"The peer-reviewed scientific evidence has overwhelmingly indicated that wireless devices do not pose a public health risk," John Walls, vice president of public affairs for CTIA-The Wireless Association, said in a prepared statement.

"In addition, there is no known mechanism for microwave energy within the limits established by the [U.S. Federal Communications Commission] to cause any adverse health effects," he said. "That is why the leading global heath organizations such as the American Cancer Society, [U.S.] National Cancer Institute, World Health Organization and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration all have concurred that wireless devices are not a public health risk."

For the new study, Moskowitz and his fellow researchers in South Korea searched medical bases for the keywords "mobile phones," "cellular phones," "cordless phones" and "tumors" or "cancer." They included 23 case-control studies, involving 37,916 total participants, in their final analysis.

When the studies were pooled, no risk was seen between mobile phone use and brain tumors, either benign or malignant. But a subgroup of studies that employed more rigorous methodology -- most conducted by the same research team in Sweden -- reported a harmful effect, whereas a set of less rigorous studies -- most funded by an industry consortium -- found a protective effect.

Specifically, the more robust studies found that using a mobile phone for a decade or longer resulted in an 18 percent increased risk for developing a brain tumor.

Some studies also showed that brain tumors were more likely to appear on the side of the brain where the cell phone was used.

According to the American Cancer Society, nearly 21,000 malignant brain or spinal cord tumors are diagnosed in adults in the U.S. each year, while 3,800 such tumors are diagnosed in children.

Moskowitz also believes that there's potential for harm to other areas of the body -- the genitals, for example -- when the phone is carried in a pocket.

With so many people worldwide using cell phones, even a small risk could translate into many illnesses and deaths, he said.

"We need to do a whole lot more research because the stakes are really high and there seems to be suggestive evidence that you better be careful about this, especially in children, who have developing tissue and smaller brain and skull sizes," Moskowitz warned.

Subramaniam seemed to agree.

"I do encourage people to use the speaker phone or a hands-free device if they can, and I definitely do not encourage children to use cell phones because then there's a much longer lifetime risk of exposure," she said.

"In my opinion," she said, "the question remains unsettled -- and unsettled always carries with it likelihood that we might find an association."

A report last year from the National Research Council, the main operating agency of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering, and compiled at the request of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, called for more research into the risks posed by long-term cell phone use, rather than the more commonly studied short-term risks. It urged that such research focus on the health of children, pregnant women and fetuses as well as workers subject to high occupational exposure.

SOURCES: Deepa Subramaniam, M.D., director, Brain Tumor Center, Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington, D.C.; Joel Moskowitz, Ph.D., director, Center for Family and Community Health, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley; prepared statement, John Walls, vice president, public affairs, CTIA-The Wireless Association, Washington, D.C.; Oct. 13, 2009, Journal of Clinical Oncology, online Published on: October 13, 2009