Mobile Phones and Brain Cancer Woo Woo

Over in the Independent.

Mobile phones could kill far more people than smoking or asbestos, a study by an award-winning cancer expert has concluded.

Wow! Gosh, how could that happen?

It draws on growing evidence – exclusively reported in the IoS in October – that using handsets for 10 years or more can double the risk of brain cancer.

OK, what\’s the incidence of brain cancer? Maybe 20 cases per 100,000 people per year.

Professor Khurana, who told the IoS his assessment is partly based on the fact that three billion people now use the phones worldwide, three times as many as smoke.

So the increased incidence would be 3 billion/ 100,000 x 20 then, yes? Umm, 600,000 deaths a year then, yes (assuming that everyone who gets the cancer dies of it)?

Smoking kills some five million worldwide each year, and exposure to asbestos is responsible for as many deaths in Britain as road accidents.

So even if he\’s right, that\’s one tenth (ish) the number of deaths from smoking.

Do journalists actually check numbers in articles or not?

11 comments on “Mobile Phones and Brain Cancer Woo Woo

  1. What utter and complete toss.

    “As many people use toothpaste as smoke, millions of people die from smoking, therefore millions will die from toothpaste cancer.”

    Why does anyone read the Independent? It’s an anti-knowledge rag. I gave up reading the useless piece of bum-fodder months ago.

  2. “Do journalists actually check numbers in articles or not?”

    Well, they are enthusiastic mobile phone users. So….

  3. No study has ever found a relative risk even approaching two for any pathology correlated with mobile phone use. Even if there were, correlation is not causation. This is just another of those ‘ticking time-bomb’ scenarios which, like the much-touted vCJD epidemic, will fail to materialise. There is no known plausible etiology for the radiations emitted by phones to cause any sort of cancer. Microwave photons are in the tens of micro electron volts, way below anything that could possibly be counted as ionising radiation. Human beings are largely transparent to them, which is good because otherwise your head would block too much of the signal to make phones work unless you always oriented the side of the head where you were using the phone towards the base station.

    Pure, unmitigated drivel.

  4. I do not understand how we could possibly have sufficient historical data on this cancer, to form a view as to whether it is increasing or not. They have typically gone undetected until death, and afterwards. Too often, there are no outward symptoms. Historically, doctors would not have had much discrimination between brain tumours, and strokes.

    And what other causal candidates do we have for the brain tumours which have afflicted people so far? One could just as easily postulate the incandescent electric light bulb as a cause. Or even the absence of scarlet fever in childhood.

    I lost a friend to this illness, no-one knew he had it until the day he didn’t wake up. But he was a very rational man, and would have stood against any stampede to judgement. He can’t so I will.

  5. Do journalists actually check numbers in articles or not?

    If journalists could count, they would have got jobs in the city like their class mates.

  6. I had a dog die of a brain tumour some while ago. Sad. And I’m warned him & warned him to leave that Nokia in his basket…….

  7. The more interesting question would be if it were true. Do the deaths avoided by mobile phone use add up to more than those allegedly lost to brain cancers? Think of all the people saved because someone reached a phone in time.

    But I expect that this thought is too complex for the people who work for the Independent.

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