Cellphones and Cancer: Making Sense of the Madness

You read the headlines – could it be that our cellphone will give us brain and heart cancer?

In short no. Here are a few things from the study:

The rats that were in the cellphone exposed group lived longer than the rats in the control group. Perhaps the headlines should have been “you live longer if you use the cellphone.”

The tumors were only found in male rats – not in female rats.

The tumors were only found in those exposed to CDMA type phones (Verizon and Sprint) and not to GSM type phones (T-mobile, ATT).  I look forward to hearing John Legere (T-Mobile’s chairman) brag about that.

Headline: This One Does Not Cause Cancer

Headline: This One Does Not Cause Cancer


This was a small study, with few rats, and these particular rats are prone to develop cancer.

The amount of radiation used on the rats was thousands of times higher than what the cell phone generates.

The study used what would be third generation cell phone signals – not the commonly used 4G, LTE, or Wifi.

There has not been an increase in brain cancer since the advent of cell phones.

There has not been an increase in cancer of the ears, fingers, or hand since the advent of cell phones.

The main cause of death from cell phones is, and remains, texting while driving, or any distraction of the cell phone while driving.

Which reminds me of a story: A few years ago an officer saw someone on their phone while driving. The officer turned on their lights and the car  was pulled over.  The officer was about to issue a citation for texting while driving. The driver said they were tweeting not texting – and since there was not a law against tweeting the person was let go. Two miles later the person in the car had run into a fire hydrant while driving.

In many studies, both population and others, there was no association with cell phones and brain cancer.

Report of Partial findings from the National Toxicology Program Carcinogenesis Studies of Cell Phone Radiofrequency Radiation in Hsd: Sprague Dawley® SD rats (Whole Body ExposureMichael Wyde, Mark Cesta, Chad Blystone, Susan Elmore, Paul Foster, Michelle Hooth, Grace Kissling, David Malarkey, Robert Sills, Matthew Stout, View ORCID ProfileNigel Walker, Kristine Witt, Mary Wolfe, John Bucher

doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/055699

Dr. Terry Simpson About Dr. Terry Simpson
Dr. Terry Simpson received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Chicago where he spent several years in the Kovler Viral Oncology laboratories doing genetic engineering. He found he liked people more than petri dishes, and went to medical school. Dr. Simpson, a weight loss surgeon is an advocate of culinary medicine. The first surgeon to become certified in Culinary Medicine, he believes teaching people to improve their health through their food and in their kitchen. On the other side of the world, he has been a leading advocate of changing health care to make it more "relationship based," and his efforts awarded his team the Malcolm Baldrige award for healthcare in 2011 for the NUKA system of care in Alaska and in 2013 Dr Simpson won the National Indian Health Board Area Impact Award. A frequent contributor to media outlets discussing health related topics and advances in medicine, he is also a proud dad, husband, author, cook, and surgeon “in that order.” For media inquiries, please visit www.terrysimpson.com.

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