Mobile phone neuroma

A study produced by researchers at the Institute of Environmental Medicine at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden shows that 10 or more years of mobile phone use almost doubles the risk of contracting a tumour on the auditory nerve.

A study produced by researchers at the Institute of Environmental Medicine (IMM) at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden shows that 10 or more years of mobile phone use almost doubles an individual’s risk of contracting acoustic neuroma.

The researchers also found that the increased risk of getting neuroma was confined to the side of the head where a phone is usually held. No indications of an increased risk for less than 10 years of mobile phone use were found.

Acoustic neuroma is a benign tumour on the auditory nerve that usually grows slowly over a period of years before it is diagnosed. It occurs in less than one adult per 100,000 per year.

At the time when the study was conducted, however, only analogue mobile phones had been in use for more than 10 years, and therefore the Swedish researchers could not determine if the results were confined to the use of such analogue phones, or if the results would be similar after long term use of digital (GSM) phones.

This is the first report from the Swedish part of the so called INTERPHONE study, an international collaboration coordinated by WHO’s cancer research institute, IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer).

The Swedes say that their results need to be confirmed in additional studies before firm conclusions can be drawn.

The study was funded by the European Union Fifth Framework Program, “Quality of Life and Management of living Resources”, the Swedish Research Council, and the International Union against Cancer (UICC).