Phones Linked to Eye Cancer in German Study
31st January, 2001
By Daniel Cheung
A German study has found
a connection between mobile phone use and eye cancer, but scientists insist
wider corroboration is needed.
A group of scientists claim
to have discovered a link between mobile phone use and eye cancer.
Research by the team at
the University of Essen in Germany found that people who regularly use a mobile
are three times more likely to develop cancer of the eye.
who regularly use a mobile are three times more likely to develop cancer
of the eye.
The scientists examined
118 patients who each suffered from uveal melanoma - a cancer which grows in
the iris and base of the retina of the eye. They compared the mobile phone use
history of this group with the history of a control group of 475 people.
Analysis of the results,
which were published in January's Epidemiology journal, found that those with
cancer had a much higher rate of mobile phone use.
However, Dr Andreas Stang,
who led the team of researchers, does caution that the study needs to be confirmed
- a point backed up by Epidemiology.
"Given the small size
of their study, the relatively crude exposure assessment, the absence of attention
to UVR exposure or other possible confounding variables, and limited support
in the literature, a cautious interpretations of their results is indicated,"
read an editorial accompanying the research.
In the abstract which summarised
their research, the Essen group agree that their research alone does not fully
prove a link. "Several methodologic limitations prevent our results from
providing clear evidence on the hypothesized association," they admit.
In December, an American
study into a possible link between mobile phone use and cancer failed to find
a connection, but did suggest that more study over a long time-span was needed.