Since the year 2000, the U.S. has experienced significant increases in the age-adjusted incidence rates of salivary gland cancer along with three other head and neck tumors associated with cell phone use

The age-adjusted incidence rate of salivary gland cancer significantly increased overall in the U.S. by 0.6% per year from 2000 to 2019The increase in age-adjusted incidence rates for this tumor is likely attributable to the chronic effects of mobile phone use in addition to other factors including improvements in screening.

Whereas the size of the population in the U.S. increased 16% between 2000 and 2019, the number of cases of salivary gland cancer reported in the National Cancer Institute’s SEER 22 registry increased by 52%.
The tumor incidence rate data are from the SEER 22 Registry which covers 48% of the total U.S. population. The data were age-adjusted to the population in the year 2000 so observed differences over time are not affected by changes in the age composition of the population.
Reference: SEER*Explorer: An interactive website for SEER cancer statistics [Internet]. Surveillance Research Program, National Cancer Institute; 2023 Apr 19. [updated: 2023 Nov 16; cited 2024 Jan 9]. Available from: Data source(s): SEER Incidence Data, November 2022 Submission (1975-2020), SEER 22 registries.  

cell phone use increase the chances of parotid gland tumor development?
systematic review and meta-analysis

de Siqueira EC, de Souza FTA, Gomez RS, Gomes CC, de Souza RP. Does cell phone use increase the chances of parotid gland tumor development? A systematic review and meta-analysis. J Oral Pathol Med. 2017 Aug;46(7):480-483. doi: 10.1111/jop.12531.


BACKGROUND: Prior epidemiological studies had examined the association between
cell phone use and the development of tumors in the parotid glands. However
there is no consensus about the question of whether cell phone use is
associated with increased risk of tumors in the parotid glands. We performed a
meta-analysis to evaluate the existing literature about the mean question and to
determine their statistical significance.

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METHODS: Primary association studies. Papers that associated cell phone use and
parotid gland tumors development were included, with no restrictions regarding
publication date, language and place of publication. Systematic literature
search using PubMed, Scielo and Embase followed by meta-analysis.

RESULTS AND CONCLUSION: Initial screening included 37 articles and three were
included in meta-analysis. Using three independent samples including 5087
subjects from retrospective case-control studies, cell phone use seems to be
associated with greater odds (1.28, 95%- confidence interval 1.09 – 1.51) to
develop salivary gland tumor. Results should be read with caution due to the
limited number of studies available and their retrospective design.

Salivary gland tumors are relatively rare, accounting for
2-5% of all head and neck tumors, being the parotids the most affected salivary
gland (6).

We further evaluated the levels of inflammatory cytokines in the saliva
produced by the parotids according to self-reported exposure to cell phone,
reporting an increase in pro-inflammatory and a decrease of anti-inflammatory
cytokine levels in the sample evaluated, suggesting a pro-inflammatory effect
of cell phones (8).

Cell phone use was associated with greater odds (increase of 28%) of presence
of tumor in the parotid glands (O.R. 1.28 95% C.I. [1.09–1.51] p = 0.0025)
(Figure 2).

Primary association studies have reported discordant results (3, 5, 10, 12, 14,
15). Possible explanations for conflicting results are differences in study
design, genetic background of sampled populations or clinical-epidemiological
sample structure. It is important to note that discordant results do not mean
that some are incorrect. Tumor manifestation is clearly a multifactorial
process whose risk factors are several. Most of the studies have not assessed
other risk factors when estimating existence of association.

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This is the first systematic review followed by a meta-analysis to evaluate
that association. Here, we report usage of cell phone increase, on average, 28%
the odds of presenting parotid glands tumors.

Our results need to be read and interpreted with caution due to important
limitations that need to be addressed. Although the number of subjects compiled
is reasonably large, the number of independent samples is small (n = 3) and
results are clearly driven by two of three studies.


Taken together, our results provide evidence of association between cell phone
use and parotid tumor although their association presents mild effect.


Histological and histochemical study of the protective role
of rosemary extract against harmful effect of cell phone electromagnetic
radiation on the parotid glands
Fatma M. Ghoneim, Eetmad A. Arafat. Histological and
histochemical study of the protective role of rosemary extract against harmful
effect of cell phone electromagnetic radiation on the parotid glands. Acta
Histochemica, 118(5):478-485. June 2016.
Electromagnetic fields (EMFs) are a class of non-ionizing
radiation (NIR) that is emitted from mobile phone. It may have hazardous
effects on parotid glands. So, we aimed to investigate the histological and
histochemical changes of the parotid glands of rats exposed to mobile phone and
study the possible protective role of rosemary against its harmful effect.
Forty adult male albino rats were used in this study. They were classified into
4 equal groups. Group I (control), group II (control receiving rosemary), group
III (mobile phone exposed group) and group IV (mobile exposed, rosemary treated
group). Parotid glands were dissected out for histological and histochemical
study. Moreover, measurement of oxidative stress markers; malondialdehyde (MDA)
and total antioxidant capacity (TAC) was done. The results of this study
revealed that rosemary has protective effect through improving the histological
and histochemical picture of the parotid gland in addition of its antioxidant
effect. It could be concluded from the current study, that exposure of parotid
gland of rat models to electromagnetic radiation of mobile phone resulted in
structural changes at the level of light and electron microscopic examination
which could be explained by oxidative stress effect of mobile phone. Rosemary
could play a protective role against this harmful effect through its
antioxidant activity.
From this study, it could be concluded that exposure of rat models to non-ionizing radiation emitted from mobile phone has hazardous effects on the histology and histochemistry of their parotid glands. Administration of rosemary extract which is a natural antioxidant resulted in a significant improvement. Unfortunately these preliminary results cannot be further extrapolated to humans. Therefore, we should adjust our use for mobile.

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