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Did Sheryl Crow’s Cell Phone Give Her A Brain Tumor? We Break Down The Science

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September 11, 2012


(Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for Stagecoach)

In June, Sheryl Crow made news when she admitted that she had been diagnosed with a brain tumor. Though, she was quick to let her fans know it was benign and she was doing just fine, she’s now talking more candidly about what she thinks was the cause of the tumor.

While speaking with Katie Couric, Sheryl said she thought her tumor was caused by cell phone radiation.

“I do have the theory that it’s possible that’s it’s related to that,” she said. “I used to spend hours on the old archaic cell phones.”

She also admitted that there were no doctors who would confirm her suspicions even though she felt she had adequate reasons to back up her claims, explaining that her tumor was in the part of her brain where she often held her phone.

But is there any scientific evidence to show that cell phones could cause cancer?

In July 2011, the Journal of National Cancer Institute published the first study on cell phone use and the risk of brain tumors in children and teens. The study concluded that there was no clear link between cell phone usage and cancer.

In April 2012 though, the Environmental Health Trust, a group founded in 2007 that looks to educate individuals about public health concerns, called the study “sloppy.” They concluded from the original findings that children who used cell phones had a 115 percent increased risk of brain tumors over those who did not, which means these kids have a doubled risk of brain cancer.

As recently as June, the Federal Communications Commission asked for a review of the agency’s standards on “radiofrequency energy emitted from cell phones amid lingering concerns that the devices may cause brain tumors.” The standards were originally set back in 1996.

In a statement, the FCC said that the agency continues to believe there is no evidence tying cancer or other health problems to mobile phones, but that the inquiry would seek any scientific evidence that could warrant changes to the emissions standards.

The very real concerns over the topic have even led the American Cancer Society to create a page for the public dedicated to the education of cellular phones and their possible link to cancer. The Society, like all sources in this story, lists the same verdict: more research needs to be done to figure out the effects of cell phone use on the body.

Knowing all of this, what do you think about Sheryl’s claims?

- Shannon Carlin, CBS Local

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