Melbourne doctor fears link between mobile phone use and brain cancer

A leading Melbourne doctor is blaming mobile phones for an escalation in brain cancer.

Melbourne doctor fears link between mobile phone use and brain cancer

Melbourne doctor fears link between mobile phone use and brain cancer. Photo: 7News

Dr John Tickell has fought his own cancer battle and claims radiation is the link.

He says it should be a wake up call for anyone who uses a mobile phone.

Dr Tickell was a on a flight from Sydney to Melbourne when he suffered a seizure. A subsequent brain scan revealed five tumours; one was the size of a golf ball.

"It's maybe the scariest words you'll ever hear, 'you have brain cancer'," Dr Tickell said.

Now in remission, Dr Tickell believes radiation is a significant contributing factor to the increasing rate in brain tumours.

"There's a million more times radiation in the air today than there was fifty years ago - that is frightening," he said.


Some 35 Australians are diagnosed with brain cancer every week.

Christian Althaus, of the Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association, said: "The exhaustive studies that have been done to date have found no link, we expect that to continue but science will continue to examine this issue."

The most comprehensive study involved 5000 brain cancer patients worldwide.

While it found there was no increased risk of cancer overall, those who used their mobile phones were up to 40 per cent more likely to develop Glioma, a common type of brain cancer.

The 32 million mobiles in use in Australia carry a little know warning that the phone should be held at least 5mm away from the body.

While neurosurgeons believe the rise in brain cancer can be attributed to better diagnosis, patients remain worried.

"It's probably the most common question asked, but all you can say is there is no definite evidence," Neurosurgeon Andrew Kaye said.

If you're concerned about mobile phone use, the advice is:

  • Use a headset
  • Limit phone calls
  • Text instead
  • Regularly swap ears
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