Something Had Gone Terribly Wrong

June 21, 2010
Category: Uncategorized

Researchers who published Study on Cell Phones and Cancer acknowledge “something had gone terribly wrong”

According to a major international study just published in the International Journal of Epidemiology “using a cell phone seems to protect against two types of brain tumor.” Let that sink in for just a moment and then learn that even the researchers behind the study, funded in part by the cell phone industry, did not believe their results. Which prompts many of us to ask the question “can we count on the studies, the gold standard of double-blind placebo controlled randomized clinical trials”? Click here to read more of the cell phone study.

After all, double blind studies are held out as the measure of excellence, of acceptance within the conventional medical community. There has been a great deal of “show me the studies” when patients attempt to engage their practitioners in discussions about the use of more CAM/complementary and alternative therapies in their care. Practitioners who practice in an integrative fashion, using CAM therapies along with conventional medical techniques, have often been scrutinized as practicing “outside the standard of care for the practice of medicine” when they use therapies such as nutrients therapeutically, screen for heavy metals, take their patients seriously when they complain of chronic fatigue syndrome, and connect the dots between Lyme disease and a whole host of disease conditions, just to name a few scenarios.
The American public is culturally conditioned to believe American medicine is a science, backed by double-blind studies. However, medicine is at best an artful science and there is a significant question within medicine about the reliability of studies, the influence of who funded the study, the influence of who funded the researchers, the bias of placebo, and now with the recognition that genetic predispositions may affect how test subjects respond comes the question of just how applicable studies may be to those with other unique genetic maps. Even how the studies are presented in the media comes with a potential bias. Click here to read further about the controversy of studies in CAM.
Studies are prone to methodology flaws and to bias. This cell phone study appears to be one of the more puzzling leading some to conclude “the result was(is) a strange set of numbers”. Anytime studies are done using survey methods, that is, “what is your use of cell phones?” they can be an inherent error. Many within the medical community ruefully shake their heads that subjects often tell researchers what they want to hear when it comes to their dietary intake, for example. After all, who wants to admit you are more likely to eat ice cream than vegetables?
The control group in the cell phone study had its own problems. 53% of those selected to serve as a control agreed to serve as such. A survey of those who declined to serve as a control found they were less likely to use cell phones than those who participated.
It was eye-opening and virtually buried in the media reports that those who talked the most on their cell phones had a significantly greater chance, 40%, of developing a glioma (brain tumor) than those who did not use cell phones.”

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