KLTV 7 News Explores Cancer, Cell Phone Link

Does talking on your cell phone really make you more vulnerable to brain cancer?

That's what a top cancer researcher has come out with. In fact, he's warning people to cut back or use headsets for their phones.

KLTV 7's Courtney Lane digs deeper into this tonight.

News of the warning has traveled fast.

It comes from the University of Pittsburgh's Dr. Ronald Herberman, who sent a memo to thousands of employees warning about his findings: that long-term cell phone use could cause cancer.

Children, being more suseptable, since their organs are still developing.

But, the research is not finished.

"We have no details to really know what their findings are and to see if the methods are sound."

Dr. Bill Hyman, an oncologist in Tyler, points to previous studies that ruled out the cell phone-cancer link.

And he adds radiowaves are all around us, and not just from our cell phones.

"The landline telephones are hooked to microwave towers for long distance transmission, we get radiowaves from commercial trucks and policemen, firemen that come through here, and pager signals, fluorescent lights, microwave ovens, now everybody's buying hybrid cars. There have been concerns about the electric fields in hybrid cars."

Like a growing number of East Texans, Dusty Haggard uses his cell as both his home and work phone.

"2 to 3 hours a day is spent on the phone."

And he says he's not making any changes.

"Years ago, it was with the microwave, you know I just looked at it like that. If it wasn't the cell phones, it would be something else."

While there is always the possibility, Dr. Hyman says not enough proof has surfaced for us to be concerned.

"This is premature and is going to have the effect of spreading anxiety without having the data to back it up," said Dr. Hyman.

"I'm using my cell phone," said Haggard.

The doctor who issued the warning advises people err on the safe side.

He recommends getting a headset, or using the speakerphone when possible.

Courtney Lane, Reporting clane@kltv.com