brain tumors

  • A Deadly Obsession-Hooked on Cell Phones

    Can you imagine leaving home without your cell phone? Apparently not many people can these days. With the cell phone’s debut in 1984, 92,000 early adapters raced to own one. Twenty years later, it is now estimated that more than 171 million Americans use a cell phone. Worldwide, a staggering 1.5 billion cell phones are constantly sending their invisible frequencies through the airwaves.

    The Wireless Age is unrelentingly upon us. In just 20 years, the wireless industry has profoundly transformed the lives of people, businesses and societies globally. It has also evolved into a lucrative 200 billion dollar a year industry.

    Around the world, people are embracing all things wireless. No doubt, this technology offers a world of new possibilities. But there are also dangers lurking. Is there something that you need to know about the wireless world that you haven’t been told? The answer could very well be your health and the health of your children.

    The Invisible Health Hazards

    Michael discovered first hand the dark side of wireless technology. In his late twenties, Michael was a successful marketing executive living in the fast lane. For years his cell phone was his indispensable companion as he wheeled and dealed, racing through thousands of cell phone minutes each month. Only when his headaches became unbearable, did he seek medical attention. His shocking diagnosis changed his life; brain cancer was discovered. It was located on the same side of his head and in the same location where he held his cell phone. Three years down the track, several brain surgeries later, and a complete transformation of lifestyle, Michael’s life has been saved. There is also no doubt in Michael’s mind that his cell phone was a key factor in causing his brain cancer.

    Although the wireless industry has always claimed that its technology is totally safe, no thorough safety testing was ever conducted before introducing cell phones into the mass market. Could it be just a coincidence that brain cancer rates in America have increased by 25 percent since the introduction of the cell phone?

    Electro-Magnetic Frequency (EMF) is the measure of radiation that comes from a cell phone, cordless phone, computer, hair dryer, microwave oven, automobile, or other electrical appliances. Cell phones emit the same form of radiation as microwave ovens—just in smaller dosages. While no one would ever consider sticking their heads inside a microwave oven, every time you hold a cell phone up to your ear you are bombarding your head with microwave radiation!

    EMFs are everywhere, and that’s precisely the problem. According to medical researcher Robert O. Becker, M.D, “At the present time, the greatest polluting element in the earth’s environment . . . more serious even than global climate change and chemical pollution . . . is the proliferation of electromagnetic fields.”

    Cell Phones and Cancer

    Only many years after the introduction of cell phones has scientific research become sophisticated enough to find the dangerous effects of microwave radiation from cell phones and other EMF-emitting devices. Irrefutable evidence now confirms that microwave radiation emitted by cell phones has the potential to heat up human tissue in the area of the head that the phone is pressed against.

    If you think that your cordless phone is a safer bet, think again. Digital cordless phones emit the same dangerous microwave frequencies as cell phones or, in some cases, even higher levels, as do most headsets.

    This thermal (heating) effect may cause headaches, fatigue, tissue swelling, memory impairment, learning difficulties, insomnia, and tingling. But there are other potentially severe long-term damages. Research concurs that EMFs interfere with cellular DNA and its repair mechanisms. In addition, cell phone radiation makes cancerous cells grow aggressively.

    One study revealed that cell phone users were two and a half times more likely to have a temporal brain tumor on the side of the head where they held their phone. In the case of tumors of the auditory nerve, which connects the ear to the brain, the risk increased to more than three times for mobile phone users. It was found that users who spend more than an hour a day talking on a mobile phone have close to one-third higher risk of developing a rare form of brain tumor.

    Depending on how close the cell phone antenna is to the head, as much as 60 percent of the microwave radiation is absorbed by and actually penetrates the area around the head, some waves reaching an inch to an inch-and-a-half into the brain. This is the first generation that has put relatively high-powered transmitters against their head, day after day, year after year.

    Research by Henry Lai, Ph.D. showed that brain cells are clearly damaged by microwave levels far below the U.S. Government’s “safety” guidelines. Dr. Lai notes that even tiny doses of radio frequency can accumulate over time and lead to harmful effects. It is also known that an extremely low frequency electromagnetic field (ELFEMF) can alter gene expression and act like a tumor promoter.

    Frequent mobile users also have significantly depressed melatonin—a vital cancer-preventing hormone.

    Cell Phones and the Brain

    Radiation from mobile phone handsets damages areas of the brain associated with learning, memory, and movement, and may even trigger Alzheimer’s disease. A study was carried out on rats whose brains were in the same developmental stage as teenagers, and who were exposed to two hours of radiation equal to that emitted by mobile phones. Researchers found an abundance of dead brain cells in rats that were exposed to radiation. They hypothesized that in people whose neurons are prone to Alzheimer’s disease, radiation from mobile phones may trigger the disease earlier in life.

    The blood-brain barrier (BBB) is the brain’s vital protective barrier. When the BBB is breached, a pathway is created allowing other cancer-causing environmental chemicals to damage sensitive brain tissue and alter brain cells’ repair mechanisms.

    After two minutes’ conversation, a cell phone’s digitized impulses disable the BBB that isolates the brain from destructive proteins and poisons in the blood. Damage to nerve cells was observed within the brain, including the cortex, hippocampus and basal ganglia. Researcher Leif Salford, M.D., Ph.D. said “It seems that molecules such as proteins and toxins can pass out of the blood, while the phone is switched on, and enter the brain. We need to bear in mind diseases such as MS and Alzheimer’s are linked to proteins being found in the brain.”

    Dozens of medical research studies have also concluded that the microwave frequencies coming into the heads of cell phone users are enough to cause neurological damage that can produce fatigue, dizziness and loss of concentration. One study indicated that a 20-minute cell phone call could disrupt and degrade cognitive functioning in a human brain for up to three hours after the call.

    There are emerging signs that these changes are already having profound public health consequences. The risk of a car accident was four times greater when the driver was using a cell phone or soon after a call and that heavy mobile users were involved in twice as many fatal road accidents. The risk of driving while talking on a hand-held phone is similar to the hazard associated with driving with a blood alcohol level at the legal limit.

    Cell Phones and Your Sex Life

    Using a mobile phone can also drastically reduce men’s sex drive. Scientists discovered that EMF exposed rats had far less testosterone in their blood stream than those unexposed.

    And for all those men who care about their sperm counts, research shows that men who regularly carry their mobiles near the groin, on a belt or in a pocket could potentially have their sperm count reduced by as much as 30 percent.

    Cell phone users are at risk of premature aging skin. Cell phone radiation heats up body cells, damaging skin cells and accelerating the development of wrinkles.

    In general, it appears that EMF pollution leads to more rapid aging in general, including elevated blood glucose levels, elevated lipid levels, high blood pressure, increased neuro-regulatory disturbances, decreased testosterone levels in men, and impacts on the central nervous, cardiovascular, and immune systems.

    Children—Senile Before Their Time

    The fastest growing group of mobile phone users is children and teenagers. Nearly one-half of U.S. teens use cell phones, and the numbers will only increase in the years ahead.

    However, cell phones and new wireless technology could cause a “whole generation” of today’s teenagers to go senile in the prime of their lives. A Swedish study warns specifically against the intense use of mobile phones by youngsters: “The voluntary exposure of the brain to microwaves from hand-held mobile phones” is “the largest human biological experiment ever.” Neurons that would normally not become “senile” until people have reached their 60s may now do so when they are in their 30s.

    A child’s brain is extremely vulnerable to cell phone radiation, absorbing microwaves at 3.3 times the rate of adults. A two-minute call not only alters the electrical activity of the brain for up to an hour but also penetrates deep into the brain. Doctors fear that disturbed brain activity in children could lead to psychiatric and behavioral problems or impair learning ability.

    Since children’s cells are rapidly dividing, they are also more susceptible to genetic damage leading to disruption of cellular function, cell death, tumors and compromised immune and nervous systems.

    Children categorically should not, be encouraged or allowed to use cell phones.

    An Ounce of Protection

    Contrary to the wireless industry’s official stance defending the safety of wireless technology, the world’s largest mobile telephone manufacturers have quietly patented devices to reduce the risk of brain tumors. The “Big Three”—Nokia, Ericsson and Motorola—have invented new components to shield users from radiation emissions from the handset. Their patents state, “Continuous exposure to radio frequency irradiation could lead to development of a malignant tumor.”

    The evidence is overwhelming that cell phones pose a very real health risk. Fortunately, there are proven technologies that offer protection from harmful EMFs.

    One of the most effective solutions is called a BioPro Chip, developed by German scientists and distributed by BioPro Technology. Their inexpensive EMF-Harmonizing Chips are activated and programmed to neutralize or harmonize the range of frequencies that emanate from cell phones, cordless phones and other EMF-emitting devices, converting them into harmless frequency waves. Once the chip is applied to the phone, or other device, the harmful EMF effects are effectively neutralized, making them safe to use.

    Wireless technology is here to stay, whether we like it or not. Approaching this technology with caution and protection will make it a force that can truly enhance the quality and enjoyment of our lives.

  • BraTumIA—A New 3D Brain Tumor Imaging Technology

    BraTumIA is an actively tested innovative 3D technology that provides doctors with a superior picture of a brain tumor with the potential of improving tumor diagnosis accuracy and reducing costs.

    Healthcare systems today can be improved dramatically through information technology such as the invention of the Brain Tumor Image Analysis computer program (BraTumIA). This innovative technology has been developed by a team of doctors and engineers at the University Hospital Bern and University of Bern in Switzerland. BraTumIA is a software tool which, within minutes, can analyze the volume of a malignant brain tumor in a 3D perspective, accurately measuring not only tumor volume but also the position of the pathology in the patient’s brain. This is a significant development in brain imaging technology that will empower doctors and has the potential to facilitate diagnosis and treatment monitoring while reducing health care costs.

    It enables doctors to monitor the tumor volume over time in a quick and accurate manner—this is especially important while the patient is undergoing chemotherapy as it can visually show any change in tumor growth. When you consider the side effects of chemotherapy, a tool showing the effectiveness of any chemotherapy treatment can have a tremendous impact on the type or duration of the treatment. This can reduce costs and/or increase the effectiveness of chemotherapy treatment.

    Typically radiologists get Magnetic Resonance Imaging scans (MRI) of a patient’s tumor, which are a pile of two-dimensional images. “The appearance of gliomas in MR images can vary greatly, which renders their radiological analysis very challenging. Consequently, clinicians usually apply standardized two-dimensional measures instead of outlining the complete tumor in a three-dimensional fashion to capture tumor size. The latter, when performed manually, is quite cumbersome, it takes hours and can differ from clinician to clinician making the interpretations subjective. BraTumIA instead performs tumor volumetry within five minutes, and most importantly always does it in a consistent manner, so chances for error decrease significantly,” says Raphael Meier, one of the main developers of BraTumIA, a PhD Candidate at the Institute for Surgical Technology and Biomechanics at the University of Bern.

    “The three-dimensional measurement of tumor size, called tumor volumetry, is usually desired but difficult to obtain,” says Meier. In clinical studies, volumetry was shown to be superior when compared to two-dimensional measures. The tumor volumetry, presented by BraTumIA program, automatically marks every pixel in an image, detects whether it is a tumor or not and examines it on a three-dimensional basis. Thus, relieving doctors from performing the task manually. In the output of the computer process a doctor obtains information about the volume of the tumor and the exact location in the brain. “Currently it is the only program that’s publicly available and can be downloaded for free and works without the need for human support,” says Meier.

    According to the specialist, BraTumIA will not replace the clinician, but can assist him and save up to two hours of work, which gives the opportunity for a doctor to spend more time on other relevant tasks. But, accuracy is still of paramount importance and at the end the clinician will look at the output of the software and double check it.

    Even more BraTumIA could also benefit patients suffering from multiple sclerosis, measuring multiple sclerosis lesions, and those who have suffered stroke. The interdisciplinary team in Bern is currently working on these two future versions of the software.

    It is expected, for multiple sclerosis, BraTumIA could provide precise analyses of inflamed brain tissue in the white brain matter (plaques). With stroke patients the software will serve the purpose of risk analysis—to determine which parts of the brain are likely to remain damaged subsequent to treatment. BraTumIA has been tested in the research departments of more than 80 institutions worldwide including NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Dundee in the UK.

    According to Professor Roland Wiest, Neuroradiologist and Leader of the Support Centre of Advanced Neuroimaging at the Bern University Hospital, “The precision segmenting of the tumor tissue is enabling us to use the image information to optimize the treatment on an ever more precise basis. This is hugely important, as new treatment strategies for gliomas— malignant tumors—can receive exact information on the growth data concerning the tumors.”

    The tool was primarily designed for segmenting preoperative images, however, as Raphael Meier says, “The project intends to extend the software’s capability to segment postoperative images and then images overtime.”

    The project was started several years ago by researchers Roland Wiest, Stefan Bauer and Mauricio Reyes, as part of Stefan Bauer’s PhD thesis. After completion of the thesis, the work has been continued by Raphael Meier (Institute for Surgical Technology and Biomechanics).

    Current development of BraTumIA also benefits from contributions of master’s students who are pursuing their theses within the project group.

    Based on request BraTumIA is made available to researchers and clinicians at no charge go to https://sites.google.com/site/stefanpbauer/home/research/bratumia