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Italian Supreme Court Accepts Mobile Phone-Tumor Link 190

An anonymous reader writes with a link to this Reuters story, from which he excerpts: "Italy's supreme court has upheld a ruling that said there was a link between a business executive's brain tumor and his heavy mobile phone usage, potentially opening the door to further legal claims. The court's decision flies in the face of much scientific opinion, which generally says there is not enough evidence to declare a link between mobile phone use and diseases such as cancer and some experts said the Italian ruling should not be used to draw wider conclusions about the subject. 'Great caution is needed before we jump to conclusions about mobile phones and brain tumors,' said Malcolm Sperrin, director of medical physics and clinical engineering at Britain's Royal Berkshire Hospital. The Italian case concerned company director Innocenzo Marcolini who developed a tumor in the left side of his head after using his mobile phone for 5-6 hours a day for 12 years. He normally held the phone in his left hand, while taking notes with his right hand. Marcolini developed a so-called neurinoma affecting a cranial nerve, which was apparently not cancerous but nevertheless required surgery that badly affected his quality of life."
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Italian Supreme Court Accepts Mobile Phone-Tumor Link

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  • From TFA: (Score:5, Interesting)

    by cynop ( 2023642 ) on Sunday October 21, 2012 @04:44AM (#41720269)

    "The evidence was based on studies conducted between 2005-2009 by a group led by Lennart Hardell, a cancer specialist at the University Hospital in Orebro in Sweden. The court said the research was independent and “unlike some others, was not co-financed by the same companies that produce mobile telephones.”

    I suppose this marks a turning point in public opinion. Not as a time that correlation between cell phones and cancer was proven, but for the time people started distrusting researches concluding that "no link has been found". I can only think this is a good thing. We've been down this road before with cigarettes.

  • by lkcl ( 517947 ) <> on Sunday October 21, 2012 @06:19AM (#41720573) Homepage

    i've met someone who also had a tumour develop behind his ear - the same one where he was using a phone. over 15 years ago he was a sales executive, on the road a lot, and he had one of those "brick" mobile phones. they had to be powerful because the number of cell towers was less than it is now. again, he was holding the device up to his ear for over 6 hours a day.

    the problem was that it took 13 years for the tumour to develop to the point where it became painful enough for him to notice something was wrong. by the time he noticed it, the tumour was one centimetre diameter. he's retired, now, having had surgery.

  • Re:Corrupt science (Score:2, Interesting)

    by jkflying ( 2190798 ) on Sunday October 21, 2012 @06:53AM (#41720671)

    This study was done by a cancer researcher, who would have an incentive to say that cellphones cause cancer because then his field gets more funding. It is just as bad as the cellphone companies co-funding research as far as bias goes.

    The only way we can actually prevent studies being buried is to require studies to be 'registered' with the journal before they are started in order to be published. Once the are registered they have to be published, no matter the result.

  • Re:Scientific proof (Score:3, Interesting)

    by delt0r ( 999393 ) on Sunday October 21, 2012 @07:02AM (#41720707)
    Along with everything else that is not carcinogenic.. Seriously, they are not paid to be correct. Most things are either carcinogenic or possibly carcinogenic in these quite useless lists. Its hard to prove something didn't have a role to play. Even that diet soda you just had....
  • by gomiam ( 587421 ) on Sunday October 21, 2012 @08:26AM (#41720973)
    Actually, chimpanzees also get cancer, even if at a much lower rate. Perhaps it has to do with accumulated evolutionary mutations [], an hypothesis that has been tested more than once and which finds out differences in the apoptosis mechanism between chimpanzees and humans. Why these differences show up and what are they useful for can be debated: it could be a way for not killing too many of our brains' neurons [].
  • Re:It's so strange (Score:5, Interesting)

    by j-beda ( 85386 ) on Sunday October 21, 2012 @08:41AM (#41721021) Homepage

    The funny part is, those corporate researchers that I've met -- and it would be dozens over the years -- all use cell phones, and buy them for their spouses and children. What cold-hearted bastards! Or ignorant fools! Or both!

    Or the researchers understand that even if their studies are correct, virtually all of them indicate the increased risk is SMALL, and usually consistent with zero increased risk. If the increased risk from the cell phone is comparable (or smaller) to other increased risks we expose ourselves to (crossing in the middle of the street, not washing our hands before eating, or just driving across town in a car) than it is probably not worth changing our behaviour in that instance.

  • Re:Scientific proof (Score:4, Interesting)

    by green1 ( 322787 ) on Sunday October 21, 2012 @10:56AM (#41721659)

    Actually it was supposed to be a cure for Hypertension (high blood pressure) and Angina Pectoris (cardiac chest pain) And in fact it is still used to treat Pulmonary Hypertension (high blood pressure in the blood vessel from the heart to the lungs) Considering that heart disease is the number one cause of death in North America, I would consider this to be quite "useful" research. And despite it's recreational uses, the drug is used to treat serious medical conditions even now, so it's hardly an example of something developed frivolously.

The intelligence of any discussion diminishes with the square of the number of participants. -- Adam Walinsky