Brain cancer is now the leading cause of cancer deaths in children, according to a new study. Researchers say a chief reason is that new treatments for leukemia — long the No. 1 killer of kids — have knocked it from the top spot in recent years.
But some studies and experts suggest brain cancer rates in kids may be, in part, tied to the increasing use of cellphones by children and teens, and the rates of brain cancer may increase — perhaps drastically — when they become adults.
"I think that there will be a significant, if not enormous increase in primary brain tumors among young people, but perhaps not until they reach the age of late twenties or even thirties," neurosurgeon Dr. Russell Blaylock tells Newsmax Health.
Children are especially vulnerable to the damage caused by cellphones since their thinner skulls absorb twice the radiation. "This is common sense," says Blaylock, author of The Blaylock Wellness Report newsletter.
"Young people are constantly on cellphones, and young, immature cells are being exposed to radiation 24/7. It's going to affect nervous system function and the reproduction of cells."
Past studies on kids’ cellphone use and cancer have been mixed, with most saying there is no danger, but some suggesting a potential risk that requires further study.
Among several widely publicized studies in adults that found no danger from using cellphones, Blaylock notes that some were funded by organizations with financial interests in the cellphone industry, and were conducted for too short a time for changes to be noted.
In addition, he warns that the actual numbers of gliomas — a type of cancerous brain tumor — caused by cellphones may be much higher that reports indicate, especially in adults, because due to problems with reporting, many cases slip through the cracks and are never taken into account.
Blaylock is also concerned about neurological damage.
"Of equal concern is the neurological damage done by the microwave radiation that results in a number of other neurological conditions, such as dementia syndromes, Parkinson's disease, language difficulties, reading problems, vertigo, hearing problems, seizures and progressive neurodegenerative disorders," says Blaylock.
"These may be much more common than brain tumors."
Blaylock warns that we may see a dramatic rise in brain tumors in the next 10 years, fueled by years of heavy usage by youngsters.
"The microwaves emitted by cellphones have been shown to cause DNA damage and induce inflammation — chronic inflammation in tissues eventually leads to cancer in some users," Blaylock said.
"There's growing evidence that cellphones cause cancerous brain tumors in adults.
"I would bet that the microwaves activate microglia in the brain and this triggers immunoexcitotoxicity — one of the main mechanisms of glioma development," he said.
Even though some studies have indicated cellphones are safe, others are troubling:
• In July, a study conducted by the National Toxicology Program (NTP), a branch of the National Institutes of Health, concluded that cellphones were a likely cause of cancer.
The study exposed more than 2,500 rats for two years to the type of radiation people are exposed to when they use cellphones, and found an increase in two types of deadly tumors — gliomas and malignant schwannomas, an extremely rare tumor of the heart.
• Research printed in Electromagnetic Biology & Medicine found that 93 of 100 previous studies concluded that the low-intensity radiofrequency radiation (RFR) cellphones emit can damage DNA and cause cancer.
They determined that using a cellphone for 20 minutes each day for five years increased the risk of one type of brain tumor by 300 percent, and talking on a cellphone for an hour a day for four years increased the risk of some tumors up to 500 percent.
• An animal study from Yale University linked the radiation from cellphones to changes in brain development that could cause hyperactivity.
We have shown that behavioral problems in mice that resemble ADHD are caused by cellphone exposure in the womb," said senior researcher Dr. Hugh S. Taylor, a reproductive specialist.
"The rise in behavioral disorders in human children may be in part due to fetal cellular telephone irradiation exposure," Taylor said.
In addition, a British study found that children who used cellphones risked memory loss, sleeping disorders, and headaches.
"I think we are going to see a tremendous effect from cellphones years from now," Blaylock said.
"Millions of people are susceptible to cancer, degenerative brain disorders like Alzheimer’s disease, and other brain diseases from the radiation produced by cellphones," says Blaylock, "and the more the phones are used, the higher the risk.
"The effects on some people will be minimal, but millions of others, especially those who have DNA repair defects, are going to have a significantly higher risk. If you are a part of that 10 or 15 percent of the population who have these defects, your risk is going to be extremely high, and you won’t even know it.
"It would be ludicrous to say that cellphone radiation is harmless and has no negative effects. That’s nonsense."
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