• 24 JUL 05
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    Cell phone use and brain tumor development (CNN)

    From Sage Associates:

    CNN interviewed Keith Black, MD – head of the neurosurgery at Cedars Sinai Hospital in LA – on brain tumors and cell phone use.

    You can see the video itself at:

    and scroll down to Health.
    The segment is “Cell Phone Use – Cancer Ties Explored”

    Transcript of segment on cell phones:

    Johnnie Cochran’s Doctor Suggests Cell Phone Caused Tumor

    Aired July 19, 2005 – 13:00 ET


    PHILLIPS: Next on LIVE FROM is there a connection between cell phones and brain tumors?

    DR. KEITH BLACK, CEDARS SINAI HOSPITAL: There is a significant correlation between the side one uses their cell phone on and the side that you develop the brain tumor on.

    PHILLIPS: Attorney Johnnie Cochran’s cancer doctors shares his insights.


    PHILLIPS: Well, if you use a cell phone, and chances are you do, could you be putting yourself in danger? Well, doctors are still at odds whether cell phones can cause brain cancer. And now our senior medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, examines an intriguing theory that famed attorney Johnnie Cochran’s cell phone may have played a role in his death.


    DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The news of her father’s illness opened a wellspring of sadness and fear in Johnnie Cochran’s daughter, Tiffany. Her father, relatively young and healthy, struck suddenly by a brain tumor.

    TIFFANY COCHRAN, JOHNNIE COCHRAN’S DAUGHTER: It was traumatic, because I thought, well, biopsy, that’s not good. Spot on the MRI. I knew it wasn’t good.

    GUPTA: So she turned to her father’s physician, renowned Los Angeles neurosurgeon Dr. Keith Black, to answer the question asked by so many when cancer strikes, why? And he offered the family an opinion they found stunning.

    COCHRAN: He explained that this type of cancer is a balance between environment and genetics, but he thought for my dad, it was more environment. And he said perhaps cell phone usage.

    BLACK: My own belief is that there probably is a correlation between the use of cell phones and brain cancer, even though there’s no scientific proof.

    GUPTA: Dr. Black, who’s the head of neurosurgery at Cedar Sinai Medical Center, believes one day science will catch up to what he’s already seeing with his own patients.

    BLACK: We know that people that use cell phones a lot also complain of headaches, difficulty with concentration, with memory. You know, this is a microwave antenna, so you’re essentially cooking the brain when you hold the receiver right next to your brain.

    GUPTA: That’s a hypothesis that Dr. Howard Frumkin, who studies the relationship between cancer and cell phone use, vehemently disputes.

    DR. HOWARD FRUMKIN, EMORY UNIVERSITY: The level of energy is so different with a cell phone than it is with a microwave oven or with some of the other big sources of energy that there’s really no way to equate the two. They’re completely different phenomena. GUPTA: Still, Dr. Black points out something else that troubles him. Cochran’s tumor was on left side of his brain. He was known to hold the cell phone on that same side. Dr. Black’s experience with his own patients…

    BLACK: We do know that there is a significant correlation between the side that one uses their cell phone on and the side that you develop the brain tumor on.

    GUPTA: Today in the United States, 175 million people use cell phones. World wide, the number is 1.6 billion. And according to the FDA, they say this, “There is no hard evidence of adverse health effects on the general public from exposure to radiofrequency energy while using wireless communication devices.”

    Dr. Frumkin insists there’s no way cell phones could have led to Cochran’s, or anyone else’s, death, given the scientific evidence.

    FRUMKIN: I’m worried that if people hear claims like that they’ll be unduly concerned. This is a very low probability kind of a thing, approaching a zero probability. So I think that there’s no evidence to support the idea that Mr. Cochran’s brain tumor resulted from cell phone use.

    GUPTA: While the FDA says no study has definitively drawn a connection between cancer and cell phone use, the agency points out there haven’t been any studies to rule one out either. The FDA and Dr. Frumkin agree that more studies should be done, protectively.

    Tiffany Cochran realizes the question of whether cell phone use was a factor in her father’s fatal illness cannot be answered today. And Cochran’s friend and doctor, Keith Black, stresses cell phone moderation and using an ear piece to be on the safe side.

    Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, Los Angeles.


    PHILLIPS: And here’s what the cell phone industry has to say about cell phones and cancer: “Unfortunately, this type of claim is not new. This is an issue that should be guided by science, and public statements that ignore the enormous body of available scientific research or fail to contribute to it do not serve the public’s interest. Just last month, the American Cancer Society in conjunction with Discovery Health Channel and ‘Prevention’ magazine, published its top ten cancer myths. Wireless phone use ranked eighth.”


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