Statement from Australian neurosurgeon Gautam (Vini) Khurana:
“I believe that in the present decade, a significant increase in primary brain tumor incidence will be detected internationally. The first indication of this phenomenon may be the plethora of high-profile individuals diagnosed with primary brain tumors in the last few to several years: Senator Ted Kennedy, professional golfer Seve Ballesteros, Cable television host Eleanor Mondale, director and producer Dan Curtis, broadcaster Stan Zemanek, high profile attorney Johnnie Cochran, celebrated pilot Dennis E. Fitch, inventor Robert Moog, political pundit Robert Novak, US Senator Arlen Specter, renowned cancer surgeon Professor Chris O’Brien, baseball pro Gary Carter, journalist David Shaw, Stock broker Rene Rivkin, actress Elizabeth Taylor, actor Mark Ruffalo, actor and musician Martin Kemp, singer Sheryl Crow, rock star Doc Neeson, corporate leader Holly Ann Norwick (partner of Chris Gardner, who was played by Will Smith in film The Pursuit of Happyness), actor / model Rona Newton-John (sister of singer and Grease star Olivia Newton-John), actress Valerie Harper (star of the Mary Tyler Moore Show),…
Will the incidence of primary brain tumors/brain cancers among high profile people (e.g., celebrities) be an early surrogate marker for the increasing incidence of these tumors in the general population?
A significant increase in primary brain cancer incidence in Australia has been reported (see http://www.brain-surgery.us/mobilephone.html for the peer reviewed reference and the Public summary); that study was based on rigorous methods and definitions. Some recent international data supports this observation. I note that the Central Brain Tumor Registry of the United States (CBTRUS) data suffers from a large proportion (> one-third) of state registry-reported “primary brain tumor” cases that were NOT verified histologically and what is likely an additional substantial tumor-misclassification error (see Tables 5 & 21 of the CBTRUS publication in Neuro-Oncology 14:v1–v49, 2012). I am surprised that these oversights have remained “under the radar” thus far. Although, recalling the glaring methodological lapses in the Danish Cohort Study, should I really be surprised?”
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