Around 60 years ago, smoking was considered the norm by many people who did not yet understand the damage smoking cigarettes can cause to their health. It wasn’t until many years later that scientists started to make links and conclusions between smoking cigarettes and lung cancer. The way in which smoking can cause lung cancer is that it can damage some of the cells that can be found lining the lungs. Cigarettes contain numerous carcinogens (cancer-causing substances) that have an almost immediate effect on the tissues in and around the lungs and so they are a large health risk.

Recently in Italy, the Italian Court have decided that constant usage of a mobile phone was the reason behind one mans benign tumour. The man in question worked for a telecommunications company for approximately 15 years of his life and found himself talking on the phone to customers and colleagues for as long as three hours each day. He has now been diagnosed by doctors as having an acoustic neuroma in his right ear, resulting in a loss of hearing in his right ear once the tumour was removed. An acoustic neuroma is a type of brain tumour that is benign, they grow on the nerve that is used for helping balance and hearing. This is one of the reasons why once the tumour was removed the man suffered a loss of hearing.

Back in 2011, the World Health Organisation’s IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer) placed mobile phones on their “possibly carcinogenic” list. There have been a few studies that have found there to be a very small increase in the number of a few specific cancers such as acoustic neuromas since the arrival of mobile phones, however many believe that this is due to the fact that the MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scans have been such a success in allowing doctors to diagnose more people than they were previously able to.

Should you be worried after all this? Absolutely not. There is still no finalising evidence that suggests that mobile phone usage can cause cancer. One of the largest pieces of evidence we have against this theory is that if mobile phones did have the ability to cause cancers, we should have seen a large increase in the number of tumours in areas of the brain that are known to absorb large amounts of radio waves, however this is still yet to be seen. Another fact to ease your fears is that even if mobile phone usage did double the risk of developing cancers, the overall risk associated is still fairly low.

Thanks, Will

References:

www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/lung-cancer/basics/causes/con-20025531

http://www.popsci.com/cell-phones-cancer-italian-jury-no-evidence
http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Acoustic-neuroma/Pages/Introduction.aspx
https://www.newscientist.com/article/2128534-should-you-worry-about-heavy-phone-use-causing-cancer/
http://www.stopcancerfund.org/pz-environmental-exposures/