ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Overweight Moms More Likely to Have Asthmatic Kids
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
Air Quality Better in Northeast, Midwest
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Hypnosis Cuts Hot Flashes for Breast Cancer Survivors
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
Quit Smoking the Holistic Way
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Safe Toys for Dogs
Beware of Dog Bites
BONES & JOINTS
Rheumatoid Arthritis Rising Among U.S. Women
Gene Therapy May Ease Rheumatoid Arthritis
Soccer's a Winner for Building Bone Health in Girls
CANCER
Smoking Ups Risk of Second Breast Cancer
Smokeout '08: The Perfect Time to Quit
No Verdict Yet on Grape Seed Extract vs. Breast Cancer
CAREGIVING
Few Hospitals Embracing Electronic Health Record Systems
Weekend Admission May Be Riskier for GI Bleeding
Study Links Pesticides to Birth Defects
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Secondhand Smoke Quickly Affects Blood Vessels
Grapefruit-Heavy Diet Helped Spur Dangerous Clot
High Blood Fat Levels Common in Americans
COSMETIC
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
DENTAL, ORAL
Periodontal Disease Impacts Whole Health
Holistic Dentistry-My View
Acid Drinks Blamed for Increase in Tooth Erosion
DIABETES
Laughter May Lower Heart Attack Risk in Diabetics
Exercise Protects Black Women From Type 2 Diabetes
Poor Blood Sugar Control After Heart Surgery Impacts Outcomes
DIET, NUTRITION
Eating Well And Keeping Active As You Grow Old Will Help You Stay Sharp
To Feel Better, Low-Fat Diet May Be Best
Mediterranean Diet Enriched With Nuts Cuts Heart Risks
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Heavy Traffic Can Be Heartbreaking
Sunken, Unexploded Bombs Pose Cancer Risk
Chemical in Plastics May Cause Fertility Problems
EYE CARE, VISION
Hybrid Cars Pose Risk to Blind, Visually Impaired
When Corks Fly, Watch the Eyes
Retinal Gene Is Linked to Childhood Blindness
FITNESS
Weak Muscles May Cause 'Runner's Knee'
Basketball Star Details His Struggle With Gout
Super Bowl Loss Can 'Kill' Some Fans
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
GENERAL HEALTH
Multivitamins Might Prolong Life
Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness
Week of Historic Senate Hearings on Integrative Medicine May Open New Doors
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Potassium-Rich Foods May Cut Stroke, Heart Disease Risk
Coffee Is Generally Heart-Friendly
An Apple a Day May Help Keep Heart Disease Away
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Bacterial Infections May Succumb to Honey
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Scary Toxins Make Halloween Face Paints Questionable
Winter's Bitter Cold Poses Health Dangers
Should Your Child Be Seeing a Chiropractor?
MEN'S HEALTH
Exercise May Prevent Prostate Cancer: Study Shows
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
Countdown to Hair Loss
MENTAL HEALTH
Shop 'Til You Drop: You May Feel Better
Environmental Chemicals May Affect Male Reproduction
Fear Response May Stem From Protein in Brain
PAIN
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
Mom's Extra Pregnancy Pounds May Raise Child's Heart Risks
SENIORS
Keeping Mentally Active Seems To Keep The Brain Active
Rapid Weight Loss in Seniors Signals Higher Dementia Risk
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Vitamin D Deficiency Puts 40% of U.S. Infants and Toddlers At Risk
Vitamin D Good for Breast Cancer Patients
Being Active an Hour a Day Puts Brakes on Weight Gain
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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