‘Chronic use of cell phone could increase tumour risk’

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Grace Edema

A Neurosurgeon at Evercare Hospital, Lekki, Dr. Edward Jolayemi, has said chronic use of cell phones for at least 10 years may increase the risk of brain tumours.

A statement by a neurosurgeon with experience in a diverse range of brain and spine pathologies said The World Health Organisation recommended limiting cell phone use and promoting the use of a hands-free headset, saying the cause of brain tumours was largely unknown.

He was also speaking in relation to World Brain Tumour day which was celebrated to raise awareness about brain tumours and dispel related misconceptions. It was titled, ‘Together we are stronger.’

 ‘‘However, risk factors include a family history of brain tumours, genetics, exposure to ionizing radiation, certain chemicals, and viruses. There have been studies to define the association of brain tumours with the use of cell phones, but no convincing data has emanated. However, there is a suggestion that chronic use of cell phones for at least 10 years may increase the risk. The World Health Organisation recommends limiting cell phone use and promotes the use of hands-free headsets.’’

He stressed that symptoms in persons with brain tumours include acute or persistent headache, according to him, it is often worse in the early hours of the morning and associated with vomiting.

‘‘An adult having a first-time seizure has a likelihood of this being caused by the presence of a tumour (commonly) or some other pathology in the brain. Other symptoms could include worsening eyesight, hearing loss, milky nipple discharge, personality changes, new-onset unsteadiness of gait, weakness or heaviness of a limb or body part (sometimes misdiagnosed as stroke), uncoordinated motor movements, new- onset difficulty speaking or comprehending spoken words, altered consciousness,’’ he said.

Jolayemi revealed that treatment options for brain tumors included surgery to remove the tumors, saying the goal of surgery is complete tumor removal, preservation of normal brain function, and acquisition of tumor samples for laboratory confirmation of its nature.

‘‘Diagnosing brain tumours begin with a clinical review by a neurosurgeon, neurologist, or an experienced clinician. Investigations are done to look into the brain and sometimes to assess its function. Treatment options are discussed once a brain tumour is detected.’’

He advised that brain tumour survivors and individuals with brain tumours required support, saying that with appropriate treatment, they have the chance of leading normal lives like their counterparts without tumours.

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