ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
New Spray Could Benefit Cystic Fibrosis Patients
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Acupuncture May Trigger Natural Painkiller
Maggots as Good as Gel in Leg Ulcer Treatments
Yoga May Bring Calm to Breast Cancer Treatment
ANIMAL CARE
Beware of Dog Bites
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
BONES & JOINTS
Returning to the Road Tricky After Injury
Gene Therapy May Ease Rheumatoid Arthritis
Human Ancestors Put Best Foot Forward 1.5M Years Ago
CANCER
Adding Garlic Might Cut Cancer Risk
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
Women Smokers Lose 14.5 Years Off Life Span
CAREGIVING
Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome as Deadly as Ever
Moms Who Breast-Feed Less Likely to Neglect Child
Robots May Come to Aging Boomers' Rescue
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Bye, Bye Back Fat?
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
High Blood Fat Levels Common in Americans
COSMETIC
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
DENTAL, ORAL
Gummy Bears Join Cavity Fight
Toothbrushing May Stave Off Heart Woes
Gum Disease Might Boost Cancer Risk
DIABETES
Abnormal Heart Rhythm Boosts Death Risk for Diabetics
'Standard' Glucose Test May Be Wrong One for Obese Children
Study Shows Turmeric May Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
DIET, NUTRITION
Vinegar Might Help Keep Off Pounds
Indian Spice May Thwart Liver Damage
Mediterranean Diet Helps Protect Aging Brain
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Showerheads Harbor a Bounty of Germs
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
Pesticides on Produce Tied to ADHD in Children
EYE CARE, VISION
High Temps Degrade Contact Lens Solution: Study
Contact Lens Cases Often Contaminated
Green Tea May Ward Off Eye Disease
FITNESS
Vigorous Exercise Can Cut Breast Cancer Risk
MRSA Infections Can Bug Fitness Buffs
Simple Exercise Precautions To Help Keep Baby Boomers Fit
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
GENERAL HEALTH
Vitamin D Best Taken With Largest Meal of Day, Study Finds
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Reminiscing Helps Build Emotional Strength
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
Magnet Therapy May Ease Hard-to-Treat Depression
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Lack of Vitamin D Linked to High Blood Pressure
Heart Disease May Be Prevented By Taking Fish Oils, Study Shows
Polyunsaturated Fats Really May Lower Heart Risk
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Obese Children More Likely to Suffer Lower Body Injuries
Traffic Seems to Make Kids' Asthma Worse
Gene Variation Found in Boys With Delinquent Peers
MEN'S HEALTH
Physical Activity May Prolong Survival After Colon Cancer
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
MENTAL HEALTH
Common Social Groups and Race, Seem to Help People Relate
Worries About Weight Are Tied to Teen Suicide Tries
Psychotherapy Can Boost Happiness More Than Money
PAIN
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Placebo Acupuncture Tied to Higher IVF Pregnancies
Acupuncture May Relieve Acid Indigestation In Pregnancy
Sugary Colas Tied to Gestational Diabetes
SENIORS
Exercise Benefits Even the Oldest Old
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
More Whole Grains May Mean Less Fat
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Exercise, Weight Control May Keep Fibromyalgia at Bay
Bitter Melon Extract May Slow, Stop Breast Cancer
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
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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