Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Hot Ears and Cancer / Ted Kennedy and Brain Cancer

Growing mobile phone use and health hazards

R. Sujatha
Scientific study shows that ‘hot ear’ syndrome as a result of long conversations could have a telling impact

at RISK: Scientists say there is no safe threshold level of exposure.

CHENNAI: At a conference on the occasion of World Telecommunication and Information Society Day, sponsored by telecommunication majors, speakers noted that half the population in India would soon have mobile phones.

But using mobile phones does not guarantee a healthy lifestyle, doctors and researchers note. For some time now, researchers in India and abroad have established with evidence that electromagnetic fields (EMF) and radiation damage the DNA, thus speeding up cell death rates. There is no safe threshold level of exposure, scientists point out.

How it happens

Have you ever wondered why your ears are hot after speaking for over 20 minutes into your mobile phone? It is because of the radiation generated by the phone. There is enough scientific evidence to show that the ‘hot ears’ syndrome due prolonged conversation over mobile phones could actually have a telling impact on your health .

Gursatej Gandhi, a researcher in the Human Genetics department of Amritsar’s Guru Nanak Dev University, has investigated the DNA and chromosomal damage and found that “exposure to radio frequency signals generated by the use of cellular telephones affect physiological, neurological, cognitive and behavioural changes and induce, initiate and promote carcinogenesis” (causing cancer).

Some biological effects associated with radio frequency (RF) radiation include RF sickness, altered EEG patterns, changes in blood pressure and decreased fertility.

Canadian practitioner Howard W. Fisher, who is currently touring India and lecturing in medical colleges, quotes Dr. Gandhi’s work extensively to explain the results of various experiments conducted across the globe. “The safety level the world has set for exposure to electromagnetic field radiation is far too high. The cell phone towers are always on. It is not true that placing blockers phones help. Sitting in a wi-fi area for an hour is like talking on a cell phone for 20 minutes.”

He compares the research results of experiments in the field to those found after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. “When blood samples of people living in the perimeter were taken, they found markers of cancer. Dr. Gandhi’s experiment showed that there were micro-nuclei in the blood cells. This is a biomarker for cancer.”

Dr. Fisher says that speaking over an “unprotected” mobile phone for five minutes could cause clustering of red blood cells in the brain and hinder supply of oxygen to the blood cells. The radiation hampers the movement of RBCs through smaller blood vessels.

© Copyright 2000 - 2008 The Hindu

Sen. Edward Kennedy has cancerous brain tumor

By GLEN JOHNSON, Associated Press Writer Tue May 20, 6:54 PM ET


BOSTON - Sen. Edward M. Kennedy was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor Tuesday in what could be the grim final chapter in a life marked by exhilarating triumph and shattering tragedy. Some experts gave the liberal lion less than a year to live.

Doctors discovered the tumor after the 76-year-old senator and sole surviving son of America's most storied political family suffered a seizure over the weekend. The diagnosis cast a pall over Capitol Hill, where the Massachusetts Democrat has served since 1962, and came as a shock to a family all too accustomed to sudden, calamitous news.

"Ted Kennedy and the Kennedy family have faced adversity more times in more instances with more courage and more determination and more grace than most families have to," said Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass. "Every one of us knows what a big heart this fellow has. He's helped millions and millions of people — from the biggest of legislation on the floor to the most personal."

Kerry added: "This guy is one unbelievable fighter."

Kennedy's doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital said he had a malignant glioma in the left parietal lobe, a region of the brain that helps govern sensation, movement and language.

Seizures can be caused by a wide variety of things, some of them relatively minor. The finding of a brain tumor — and specifically a glioma, an especially lethal type — was about the worst possible news.

Kennedy's doctors said he will remain in the hospital for the next couple of days as they consider chemotherapy and radiation. They did not mention surgery, a possible indication the tumor is inoperable.

Outside experts gave him no more than three years — and perhaps far less.

"As a general rule, at 76, without the ability to do a surgical resection, as kind of a ballpark figure you're probably looking at a survival of less than a year," said Dr. Keith Black, chairman of neurosurgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

In a statement, Dr. Lee Schwamm, vice chairman of neurology at Massachusetts General, and Dr. Larry Ronan, Kennedy's primary physician, said the senator "has had no further seizures, remains in good overall condition, and is up and walking around the hospital."

"He remains in good spirits and full of energy," the physicians said.

An Associated Press photographer who was given access to the senator on Tuesday captured Kennedy, dressed in a gray sweater and dark slacks, joking and laughing with family members as he sat at a table in a family room at the hospital.

Kennedy's wife since 1992, Vicki, and his five children and stepchildren have been at his bedside.

"Obviously it's tough news for any son to hear," said Robin Costello, a spokeswoman for one of Kennedy's sons, Rep. Patrick Kennedy, D-R.I. "He's comforted by the fact that his dad is such a fighter, and if anyone can get through something as challenging as this, it would be his father."

Kennedy, the Senate's second-longest serving member, was re-elected in 2006 and is not up for election again until 2012. Were he to resign or die in office, state law requires a special election for the seat 145 to 160 days afterward.

Among the potential Democratic candidates: Martha Coakley, the state's attorney general; Rep. Edward J. Markey; former Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy II, Kennedy's nephew; and Kennedy's wife. The Republican contenders could include former Gov. Mitt Romney or former Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey.

Kennedy has left his stamp on a raft of health care, pension and immigration legislation during four decades in the Senate.

Senators of both parties heard about Kennedy's condition during their weekly, closed-door policy lunches, and some looked drawn or misty-eyed.

Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., the longest-serving member of the Senate, wept as he prayed for "my dear, dear friend, dear friend, Ted Kennedy" during a speech on the Senate floor.

"Keep Ted here for us and for America," said the 90-year-old Byrd, who is in a wheelchair. He added: "Ted, Ted, Ted. My dear friend. I love you and miss you."

"I'm really sad. He's the one politician who brings tears to my eyes when he speaks," said former Sen. Bob Kerrey, D-Neb., who happened to be in the Capitol.

In a statement, President Bush saluted Kennedy as "a man of tremendous courage, remarkable strength and powerful spirit." He added: "We join our fellow Americans in praying for his full recovery."

Malignant gliomas are diagnosed in about 9,000 Americans a year. In general, half of all patients die within a year.

"It's treatable but not curable. You can put it into remission for a while but it's not a curable tumor," said Dr. Suriya Jeyapalan, a neuroncologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.

The Kennedy family has been struck by tragedy over and over. Kennedy's eldest brother, Joseph, died in a World War II plane crash; President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963; and Sen. Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1968. The tragedies thrust "Uncle Teddy" into the role of surrogate parent to his brothers' children. He walked Caroline Kennedy down the aisle.

A high point in his life came in 1980, when Kennedy challenged Jimmy Carter for the Democratic presidential nomination. He eventually bowed out with a stirring speech in which he declared, "The cause endures, the hope still lives and the dream shall never die." His eulogy for his brother Robert was equally stirring.

The low point was 1969, when Kennedy drove a car off a bridge on Chappaquiddick Island on Martha's Vineyard. The accident killed aide Mary Jo Kopechne. Kennedy at the time was married to his first wife, Joan, whom he later divorced. His failure to promptly report the accident, and questions about his relationship with the young woman, may well have cost him the presidency.

Kennedy has been active for his age, maintaining an aggressive schedule on Capitol Hill and across Massachusetts. He has made several campaign appearances for Sen. Barack Obama.

"He fights for what he thinks is right. And we want to make sure that he's fighting this illness," Obama said Tuesday. "And it's our job now to support him in the way that he has supported us for so many years."

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton said: "Ted Kennedy's courage and resolve are unmatched, and they have made him one of the greatest legislators in Senate history. Our thoughts are with him and Vicki and we are praying for a quick and full recovery."

Last summer, Kennedy announced a deal with a publisher to write a memoir, scheduled to come out in 2010


Note - I hope that Senator Kennedy's doctors have enough sense to tell him not to use a cell phone and avoid wireless emissions! MW