Brain tumor

Cell phone use is way up. So why did brain cancer rates fall?

June 7, 2011: 11:22 AM ET

Despite a 500-fold increase in radiation exposure from cell-phones since 1990, brain cancer rates have fallen.

FORTUNE -- During the 1980s, just as Americans began pumping low-frequency radiation through their skulls with cell phones, brain cancer rates in the U.S. slowly increased. At the beginning of the decade, doctors delivered the devastating diagnosis of brain cancer to 63 out of every 1 million Americans every year; by 1990 that number had risen to 70 per million. And that's when cell phone usage really took off.

Yet while the link between phones and tumors may have seemed certain to grow, a strange thing happened. Beginning in 1991 the rate of brain cancer incidence reversed course and began to slowly fall. By 2008, the last year for which the National Cancer Institute has data, 65 out of every 1 million Americans got a brain cancer diagnosis annually. More

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