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No Link Between Cell Phone, Eye Cancer

Study Shows Using Cell Phones Won't Increase Risk of Melanoma of the Eye

By Caroline Wilbert
WebMD Health News

Reviewed By Louise Chang, MD

Jan. 13, 2009 -- Talking on your cell phone does not increase your chances of getting melanoma of the eye, according to a new study.

The findings override an earlier report that linked the use of mobile phones with this type of cancer, according to researchers. The latest study is published in the Jan. 13 online issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Andreas Stang, MD, of the Martin-Luther-University of Halle-Wittenberg in Germany, and colleagues, examined the association between phone use and risk of uveal melanoma in 459 patients with uveal melanoma compared to people without uveal melanoma.

Past research has shown there is no link between exposure to radio waves, including those on a cell phone, and DNA changes that can lead to cancer, according to background information cited by the study. However, studies addressing the possible link between use of cell phones and cancer continue to be performed.

This most recent study overrides an earlier study by the researchers involving only 118 participants with uveal melanoma. For that study, the exposure was only assessed if it was in the workplace. The findings at the time seemed to suggest a greater risk of uveal melanoma in people who used cell phones more often at work.

"In conclusion, we observed no overall increased risk of uveal melanoma among regular mobile phone users or users of radio sets in Germany, where digital mobile phone technology was introduced in the early 1990s," the researchers write.

SOURCES: News release, Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Stang, A. Journal of the National Cancer Institute, vol 101: pp 120-123.

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