There is evidence that the numbers of people diagnosed with the type of brain tumor linked to cell phone use- glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is increasing as documented in some US and international cancer registries.
Glioblastomas (the type of brain cancer linked to cell phone radiation) and central nervous system tumors are increasing in young Americans, in precisely the areas of the brain that absorb most of the microwave radiation emitted or received by phones.
On this page we are maintaining a list of the scientific documentation of these cancer increases as well as the science linking cell phones to brain cancer. (Scroll down for scientific citations). Some facts:
- The American Brain Tumor Association’s largest, most comprehensive US analysis to date, found the incidence of anaplastic astrocytoma, tumors of the meninges, tumors of the sellar region and unclassified tumors have increased in young adults 15-35.
- A 2015 published analysis that looked at 2000-2010 data from the United States Cancer Statistics publication and the Central Brain Tumor Registry of the United States found significant increases in malignant and nonmalignant central nervous system tumors among adolescents and and also significant increases in acute lymphocytic leukemia, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and malignant central nervous system tumors in children.
- In 2016 the Cancer Prevention Institute of California’s Annual Report reported an increase in the incidence of glioblastomas in non Hispanic white males and females in the the greater San Francisco Bay area.
- In 2012 Zada et al found the incidence of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) increased in the frontal and temporal lobes, and in the cerebellum among adults in the U.S. from 1992-2006.
- A 2014 published Dutch analysis (Ho et .al.) also found increases in GBMs.
- A 2011 published study looking at brain tumor incidence in Australia data found a significant increasing incidence in GBM, particularly after 2006 (Dobes 2011).
- The National Cancer Institute reported that glioma incidence in the frontal lobe increased among young adults 20-29 years of age (Inskip et al., 2010).
- Hardell and Carlberg (2017) reported that in Sweden brain tumors of unknown type increased from 2007-2015, especially in the age group 20-39 years of age during 2007–2015 and they state, “this may be explained by higher risk for brain tumor in subjects with first use of a wireless phone before the age of 20 years taking a reasonable latency period.”
- The Danish Cancer Society reported a doubling in the number of men diagnosed with glioblastoma over the last ten years.
- Cancers in the head and the neck are increasing in Sweden according to the latest cancer incidence data from the Swedish Cancer Registry (2018) Cancers in the thyroid and the mouth are among the cancers that have seen the sharpest rise during the last decade but also the trend for cancers of the pituitary are on the rise. Among men aged 50 -79 years malignant brain tumours, grade 3-4 are also increasing visibly. The increase of these cancers has coincided with increasing use of mobile phones during the same time period while the increasing trend of malignant brain tumours, gliomas, might be an effect of long term use of mobile phones.
In addition to research that has found cell phone links to brain tumors, research has also found associations with salivary gland tumors. A 2007 study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology found a relationship between long term cellphone use and tumors of the parotid gland. A 2017 United States analysis found the incidence of salivary gland tumors are rising- especially small parotid tumors. A 2016 study published in the Journal of Oral Pathology & Medicine found cell phone use results in inflammatory changes in the saliva produced by the parotid glands, paralleling 2013 and 2015 studies that found saliva changes associated with people who were heavier cell phone users. A 2017 meta analysis of studies on parotid gland tumors found an association between mobile phone use and parotid gland tumor risk. While more documentation is needed, the current research evidence is leading to the hypothesis that the use of mobile phones may cause oxidative stress, modify salivary function and this could impact salivary gland tumor development.
Importantly, cell phone related brain tumor increases cannot be expected to show up in the general population, especially not where the incidence of all brain cancers are considered or where researchers look at brain cancer “overall.” For example, a 2016 study from Australia which looked at brain cancer rates overall made headline news alleging that cell phones do not cause brain cancer. In response, several cancer researchers called such conclusions inaccurate and “misleading.” Read Prof. Dariusz Leszczynski’s response to the Chapman study where he concludes that “the conclusion of the Australian study..is completely false because it is not supported by the evidence.”
Brain cancers are slow-growing and can take decades to develop after toxic exposure. Rates of lung cancer did not increase in the general population until more than three decades after American men had begun to smoke heavily. Therefore research using case-control designs that study small groups of highly exposed persons are more appropriate for identifying cancer risks tied with cell phone use. Swedish physician-researcher Lennart Hardell’s case control studies found that persons who began using cell phones as teenagers have a four- to five-fold greater risk of brain tumors.
Read Dr. Davis, Dr. Miller, and Lloyd Morgan’s response in Oxford University Press: Why there can be no increase in all brain cancers tied with cell phone use where they state, “The link between the carcinogenic effects of tobacco and cancer did not come about from studying population trends, but by special study of high-risk groups using case-control designs of selected cases and comparing their histories with those of persons who were otherwise similar but did not smoke, and cohort studies of groups with identified smoking histories followed for up to 40 years…The fact that population-based trends in Australia do not yet show an increase in brain cancer does not mean it will not be detectable in the future—perhaps soon.”
A 2017 update from the the BioInitiative Working Group 2017 “Use of Wireless Phones and Evidence for Increased Risk of Brain Tumors” (Hardell and Calberg 2017) shows the evidence has strengthened for brain cancers related to wireless phone use. The 2017 analysis details the scientific results of case-control studies published between 2010 and 2017 on cancers of the brain and concludes that, “By now carcinogenicity has been shown in human epidemiological studies replicated in animal studies. Laboratory studies on RF radiation have shown increased ROS production that can cause DNA strand breaks. In 2013, we published the conclusion that RF radiation should be regarded as a human carcinogen Group 1 according to IARC definition, based on scientific evidence (Hardell and Carlberg, 2013) further supported in our up-dated article (Carlberg and Hardell, 2017) Clearly also based on the IARC preamble to the monographs, RF radiation should be classified as Group 1: The agent is carcinogenic to humans…”