Rebuttal: American Cancer Society Cell Phone Brain Tumor Comments By Dr. Otis W. Brawley

There has been significant coverage in the media on comments made by Dr. Otis Brawley, the chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society who is wrongfully downplaying a critical new scientific consensus which concludes that the U.S. National Toxicology Program (NTP) study has found “clear evidence” that cell phone level radiation does cause cancer.

Initially, after the first draft release of the NTP study in 2016, Dr. Otis Brawley was very supportive and appeared to accept the need for prudent avoidance when dealing with excessive radiation from wireless devices.

Compared to three years ago, Brawley’s statements on the NTP study shows a complete change in direction.

Before Brawley flip-flopped, he said,  “The NTP report linking radiofrequency radiation (RFR) to two types of cancer marks a paradigm shift in our understanding of radiation and cancer risk. The findings are unexpected; we wouldn’t reasonably expect non-ionizing radiation to cause these tumors. This is a striking example of why a serious study is so important in evaluating cancer risk. It’s interesting to note that early studies on the link between lung cancer and smoking had similar resistance since theoretical arguments at the time suggested that there could not be a link.”


Dr. Otis Brawley Downplays Brain Cancer Statistics

On November 1, 2018, the Associated Press reports that Dr. Otis Brawley said, “The incidence of brain tumors in human beings has been flat for the last 40 years”, while also making a claim, “That is the absolute most important scientific fact.” in an article titled Crosstalk: Federal agencies clash on cell phone cancer risk

According to John Coates, CEO of RF Safe Corporation, “Dr. Brawley did not tell the whole truth in recent statements published by the Associated Press.  Dr. Otis Brawley has taken a stance that misleads the media and public with his position of influence as Chief Medical Officer at the American Cancer Society.  I have ceased any future donations to the American Cancer Society until they accept taking a precautionary approach to cancer prevention, and refrain from ever downplaying cancer risk defined as “clear evidence” from peer-reviewed research, analyzed by a panel of world-leading experts. I advise others to do the same.”

It is true the overall instance rate of brain tumors has not risen in many decades.  However, Dr. Otis Brawley fails to address the full truth —  that there has been a dramatic shift in the dynamics in both the type of cancers and the location where these rare and most deadly tumors have increased over the last 20 years.

For example, the incidence rate of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), the deadliest type of brain tumor in the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain (area exposed to highest levels of phone radiation) are increasing all over the world.  Now, this rapidly increasing brain cancer is responsible for many notable deaths covered by media such as US Senator John Mccain, Ted Kennedy, former Vice President Biden’s son Joe Biden and the courageous Jimmy Gonzalez – who were all the canary’s in a coal mine.  A stark warning for all of us, except for Dr. Otis Brawley the face of the American Cancer Society the last 11 years who blatantly left out critical information on brain tumor rates increasing around the world as it related to cell phone usage.

Dr. Otis Brawley left out significant brain cancer facts supported by peer reviewed research that prove the deadliest brain cancers located near where a cell phone is commonly used are rising fast globally.  Here are a few of the studies that support a rapidly growing number of GBM brain tumors.

Deadliest Brain Tumors Increasing In England

(80-90% of GBM now occur in frontal and temporal lobes, more than doubled 1995-2015)


It is a fact that these deadly brain cancers have doubled in England,  between 1995 and 2015, according to a new analysis of national statistics. During that time, the number of cases of GBM rose from 983 to 2,531.

“We found a sustained and highly significant increase in GBM throughout the 21 years and across all ages,” said Alasdair Philips, the lead author of the study, which has been released online by the peer-reviewed, open access, Journal of Environmental and Public Health.


As you can see, from 1995 to 1997, there was about the same number of tumors in the frontal and temporal lobes as there were in the rest of the brain.  The ratio of cases was about one.

Now, there are twice as many and the ratio in the graph has risen to two. We can clearly see a doubling of GBM

The doubling held true even after correcting for the aging population, according to Philips. (People get more brain tumors as they get older.)   The increase in brain tumors was recently featured a story on CNN.   Brain tumors closest to where a phone is held are rising. This is a fact!


Deadliest Brain Tumors Increasing In Netherlands

(3.1% per year, more than doubled between 1989-2010)


Based on brain tumor data from The Netherlands. The black segment of each column tracks the incidence of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), the most aggressive and deadly type of brain tumors. While the total incidence of all types of brain tumors in The Netherlands rose at the rate of only about 0.7% per year, the increase in GBM was about 3.1% per year

GBMs Are Also Rising in the U.S.

A similar trend is occurring in the U.S., according to a team from the University of Southern California Medical School in Los Angeles. The USC researchers looked at the incidence of brain tumors in three “major cancer registries” over a 15-year period (1992-2006). In a paper published in 2012, they reported that GBMs had gone up while the other types had gone down. The study showed “decreased rates of primary brain tumors in all sites with the notable exception of increased incidence of GBM in the frontal lobes, temporal lobes, and cerebellum.”

The increase in GBMs in the temporal lobe (the region of the brain closest to the ear and potentially to a phone) was seen in all three registries, ranging from approximately 1.3% to 2.3% per year, a finding that is statistically significant.

John Coates claims the same trend found around the world is being hidden from the American public by using outdated data sets.  “Brain tumor incidence rates in the US provided by CBTRUS (Central Brain Tumor Registry of the United States) which utilizes the 2000 United States standard population data.   It’s unknown why 18-year-old data is still used in the USA,” says Coates.

Dr. Otis Brawley Downplays Rats Getting Cancer

In the same Associated Press story, Dr. Otis Brawley is on record saying, “What’s most important is what happens in humans, not rats”.

According to RF Safe Corporation CEO, John Coates, “What happens to the rats should be a big concern for every cell phone user. It would be unrealistic to think only rats can get cancer from cell phone level radiation and humans cannot. ”

– Rats are the dominant model species proven useful in several biomedical fields, notably in drug development and toxicology, including carcinogenicity testing.

– Rats are used to maintain a set of research ethics principles for human experimentation set as a result of the subsequent Nuremberg trials at the end of the Second World War.

– Rat tumors are the subject of various types of analyses, and these studies led to important conclusions, including tumor classification on the basis of the identity of the inducing cancer agent, thereby analyses of human tumors are valuable in determining retrospectively the role of specific carcinogens such as cell phone radiation in the formation of human cancers.