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Brain Cancer Is on the Rise in the Young. Are Cell Phones to Blame?

written by Dr. Christine Bishara - Sep 26, 2022
medically reviewed by Dr. Christine Bishara, MD - Nov 18, 2022

Photo Credit: by Andrea Piacquadio,
Photo Credit: by Andrea Piacquadio,

Central Nervous System (CNS) cancers are now the second most common cancers in those aged 1-19, with the average annual increase noted at 1.37% since the late 1970’s.

Many hypothesize that the recent increase in risk is due to more frequent exposure to Electromagnetic fields (EMF). Could that be a factor?

Let’s explore.

There are two forms of radiation, Ionizing and non-ionizing.

Ionizing radiation: Ionizing radiation uses mid to high frequency radiation that has the potential to cause DNA damage with extended use. Examples of this include radiation used in cancer therapy, or the radiation emitted from medical devices such as x-rays and cat scans.

Non-ionizing radiation: Non-ionizing radiation is generally considered harmless. Examples of this include radio waves that transmit sound through a radio, or visuals to a television. Both cell phones and bluetooth technologies use non-ionizing radiation.

So… the question arises. Has cell phone use caused an increase in brain cancer incidence in children?

I reviewed numerous studies on the topic prior to writing this article. Most studies that were done presented data on short term use and many were done on adults. Most of the studies I came across did not show any direct links to the use of electronic devices and increased risk of CNS tumors. One study, conducted by the IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer) however, noted that the EMR waves emitted from cell phone devices can pass through the blood brain barrier and increase risk of cancer. Children may be more susceptible to this since their still developing brains may allow deeper penetration of these waves. One study also showed that EMF’s released from these devices increased the permeability of the brain’s membranes and caused damage to neurons in rats. While most of the research showing no link can be comforting to parents, we have to be mindful of the fact that we do not have any long term data to definitively say yes or no.

While the possibility of EMF exposure can be postulated to explain the slight uptick in incidence, other factors that are involved in the development of CNS tumors include:

● Genetic components

● Previous use of ionizing radiation for treatment of other cancers

● Environmental toxins

● Increased obesity incidence in young children

What precautions can be taken?

The following suggestions apply to both children and adults:

● Reduce cell phone use

● Keep your phone at distance when not in use

● Use corded earphones or headphones

● Use a speakerphone

● Text instead of talking on your phone

● Place a Shungite stone near laptops, televisions etc. to help absorb some of the EMR waves emitted by these devices

● Avoid using cell phones or bluetooth devices while in fast moving vehicles such as trains or cars as these may generate more electromagnetic waves.

Many parents become concerned about their children having brain tumors. They are still considered rare and most symptoms that parents fear to be cancer are usually not. Nonetheless, it is good to have some knowledge about the most common symptoms. Consult with a pediatrician if your child has any of the following symptoms:

● Frequent and persistent headaches

● Any gait disturbance or changes in balance

● Vomiting that is persistent without a known cause, such as an infection. Vomiting from CNS malignancies can sometimes present as projectile, especially in the morning

● New onset weakness in arms or legs

● Visual disturbances such as blurred vision, sudden loss of vision, or restricted field of vision

● Seizures

Cancer treatments can get very expensive. Canada Pharmacy online has many cancer medications that may be less expensive.

This article is for general educational purposes only. Please consult with your doctor regarding any symptoms or medical concerns.



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