Archive for June, 2011

Cell phones and brain cancer—tips for reducing even the possibility of risk

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Former Executive Editor, Harvard Health

The back and forth about whether or not cell phones cause brain cancer is likely to go on for a while. Until the issue gets settled, there are some things that folks who like to reduce their risks (even ones that may never pan out to be substantial risks) can do to minimize the amount of energy their cell phone wafts into their heads. These include holding your phone an inch away from your ear, using a Bluetooth or wired headset, using the phone’s speakerphone feature, and choosing a phone that transmits at a lower power level.

Cell phones and brain cancer—the evidence doesn’t ring any bells

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Former Executive Editor, Harvard Health

An expert panel assembled by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) met last week to assess what, if any, cancer threat cell phones pose to the 5 billion or so people who use them. After reviewing hundreds of studies, the IARC panel concluded that cell phone use may be connected to two types of brain cancer, glioma and acoustic neuroma. But the evidence on which the panel based its conclusion is weak or, as the IARC called it, “limited.” The move puts cell phones in the IARC’s Group 2B category of cancer-causing agents. Things in Group 2B are “possibly carcinogenic to humans.” Other denizens of this group include coffee, pickled vegetables, bracken ferns, and talcum powder. Harvard Health editor P.J. Skerrett is more worried being rammed by someone talking on his or her cell phone while driving than about getting brain cancer from a phone. For more cautious souls, the FDA offers suggestions for reducing your exposure to energy from a cell phone.

Testing the Harvard 6-Week Plan for Healthy Eating: Keep it going

Two volunteers testing the new “Harvard Medical School 6-Week Plan for Healthy Eating” may have come to the end of the plan, but both are just beginning their independent journeys to a lifetime of healthy eating. Helen Hoart and Tonya Phillips talk about the goals they set for themselves, whether they achieved them, and their dietary plans for the future.