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Longstanding fears that using mobile phones may increase the risk of developing a brain tumour have been reignited recently by the launch of 5G (fifth generation) mobile wireless technologies. Mobile phones emit radiofrequency waves which, if absorbed by tissues, can cause heating and damage.

Lots of people around a table each holding a mobile phone

Since mobile phones are held close to the head, the radiofrequency waves they emit penetrate several centimetres into the brain, with the temporal and parietal lobes being most exposed. This has led to concern that mobile phone users may be at an increased risk of developing brain tumours, with the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifying radiofrequency waves as ‘possibly carcinogenic.’ However, most of the studies that have investigated this question to date have been retrospective studies in which individuals report mobile phone use after a diagnosis of cancer, meaning that the results may be biased.

Today, researchers from Oxford Population Health and IARC have reported the results of a large UK prospective study (a study in which participants are enrolled before they develop the disease(s) in question) to investigate the association between mobile phone use and brain tumour risk. The results are published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Read the full story on the University of Oxford website

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