They’re out to get you

This week it has been a case of giving with one hand and taking back with the other regarding our health.

First it was the announcement that taking the contraceptive pill for a few years helps to protect women against various cancers. Phew, that’s good news for all who threw away their bras and embraced taking their fertility in their own hands. Then we were hit with the news that actually after a period of six to ten years on the pill the cancer protection not only disappears but it makes a woman more prone to cancer.

The next day we are hit with the long awaited report on the link between cancer and mobile phones. Once again, for the umpteenth time in fact, controlled study shows that mobile phone users are no more likely to get cancers than anyone else. Have we not been saying that for years?

Then came that ‘however’ moment.

There is a statistically unrecognisable increase in some brain cancers in long-term users. And that is the rub – long-term users. It apparently took over ten years before people began to realise that there was something unhealthy about cigarettes. Researchers admit that phone usage has not been going on for long enough to understand the long term implications of walking around with a phone clamped to your ear all the time (except increasing deafness).

So the stories around two of the revolutions of the 20th century will rumble on and, like most things, always best used in moderation.

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