Does Cell Phone Radiation Cause Cancer? Who Knows? But Better to be Safe Than Sorry

The debate on cell phones goes back and forth. They cause cancer. No, they don’t cause cancer.

Wait, do they?

Honestly, there’s no definitive answer for that yet. But here’s what we do know: In a study, researchers tested 47 participants. They placed a cell phone on each of the participants’ ears, without revealing whether or not the phones were activated.

Some of the cell phones were off and the others were muted, but able to receive calls and texts. After 50 minutes of exposure, each participant was administered a PET scan to measure brain activity.

The results showed that when the cell phone was turned on, there was a clear increase in brain activity - specifically in the brain glucose metabolism - in the area closest to the phone’s antenna.

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What exactly does that mean? That’s a harder question to answer.

Researchers have not yet identified whether or not hyperactive brain function translates into a greater risk of cancer.

The data published so far on the link between cell phone usage and cancer risk has been controversial. Some reports have suggested that extended cell phone risk does heighten the risk of cancer, while a few larger studies have not come to the same conclusions.

However, I do believe that where there’s smoke, there’s fire.

I would argue that we have to be careful when it comes to the potential danger of using electronic equipment that emits radiation.

Despite the fact that we don’t have definitive proof that cell phones cause cancer, I do think it’s important that we protect ourselves from excess exposure to radiation, whether that’s by limiting the use of cell phones or utilizing hands-free devices that allow us to keep our cell phones away from our heads while we speak.

Also, there’s one last thing we ought to keep in mind – our kids.

This digital phenomenon may not affect adults like me in my 50s, but imagine what kind of data we may be finding 40 years from now when our 10-year-old kids are my age. This is a generation that has grown up using cell phones nonstop.

So, with that in mind, you may want to consider limiting your family plan.

Dr. Manny Alvarez is a Cuban-American OB-GYN who serves as a senior medical contributor for the Fox News Channel and senior managing health editor of To read more from Dr. Manny, go to

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