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No Link Between Cell Phone Use and Brain Cancer

For years, it's been on the minds of many cell phone user. All that radiation for all that time and so close to the brain…is it really safe?

Dr. Mark Malkin of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center just finished a study on whether cell phones cause cancer. It was partially funded by the cell phone industry. "Using your cell phone more doesn't make you more at risk of developing a brain tumor."

Malkin and his colleagues studied almost 900 people. About half of them had brain tumors and half did not. Those without brain tumors reported using cell phones as frequently as those with brain tumors. "It didn't matter how much or how little you used the cell phone," says Malkin. "There was no difference in the risk for brain cancer."

Of course other researchers disagree. George Carlo has just published a book criticizing the cell phone industry. Carlo used to run the research arm of the cell phone industry that funded part of the study. "Earlier versions of the study clearly indicated a significant increase in the risk of rare brain tumors among cellular phone users," says Carlo.

But late today a second study from the National Cancer Institute was released, saying that cell phones are safer than some think…probably. The authors of both studies call for more research because their numbers only reflect cell phone use of a few years.

"You can't say from that what will happen if people use cell phones for four years, or eight years, 12 years or 20 years," says Malkin.

And that's why some researchers are still worried. Millions of people keep talking on cell phones while scientists keep talking about how much the doctors don't know.

Richard Schlesinger CBS news New York.

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