Head and Neck Tumors

Update 1/20/23

Scientific Literature

Radiofrequency Radiation and Head and Neck Cancer and Gland Dysfunction: Cell Phone and Cordless Phone Use

  • Parotid Gland
  • Thyroid Gland
  • Vestibular Neuroma (Acoustic Neuroma)

RFR  and Cell Phone Radiation Exposures In The Head and Neck 

The head and neck area is exposed to much higher levels of radiofrequency radiation (RFR)  when a cell phone or cordless phone is placed in close proximity and usually right against the head, not as tested to comply with FCC standards which are millimeters to centimeters away, depending on the phone.

The thyroid gland, parotid gland and the vestibular nerve are more superficial and thus more vulnerable to the effects of electromagnetic fields.  The thyroid gland is located in the midline of the mid neck and regulates many body functions by constantly releasing consistent amounts of thyroid hormones into the bloodstream, which regulate metabolism, growth and development. The parotid gland is located in front of and beneath the ear and functions to release salivary fluid which moistens the mouth, softens food during chewing, initiates digestion and protect the teeth from decay. The vestibular nerve is also called the vestibulocochlear nerve or auditory vestibular nerve and is located  inside the ear and connects with nerves for hearing and balance. There are 12 cranial nerves that have a variety of functions in the head area including sensation and movement.  The vestibular nerve is also called  the eighth cranial nerve and it transmits sound and equilibrium (balance) information from the inner ear to the brain.

The older cell phones had antennas located higher and near the ear. The newer smartphones have many antennas (Cellular, Wi Fi, GPS, LTE and bluetooth) and the location of the primary cellular antenna is now typically located at the lower end of the device.  It is no longer a non-retractable antenna but is hidden on a strip on the “smartphones” where the metal is interrupted to allow for transmisssion of the radiofrequency radiation. It is well known that there is a variable but long latency period between exposures to toxins and the development of cancer.  Brain tumor studies have shown a significant increase in tumors on the same side of the head where cell phones were used by the subject (Hardell 2013) as well as an increase in brain tumors with long term use of a cell phone (Hardell 2013) and (Interphone Study 2011) .

Tumor Promotion was studied by Alahmad and colleagues (2018) who used chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) and human head and neck cancer cell lines. Their research revealed that cell phone radiofrequency could enhance head and neck cancer by stimulating angiogenesis, cell invasion and colony formation.

Thyroid cancer is now the 12th most common cancer in the United States and accounts for 3% of all new cancer cases.  Thyroid cancer has been increasing at a rate of 3.1% per year for the last 10 years.  It is estimated by the National Cancer Institute, Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program (SEER) that there will be 52,070 cases of thyroid cancer  in 2019. There is debate about the increased incidence being a result of over diagnosis but research suggests there is a real increase incidence.  Hilly et al (2013) demonstrated abnormalities in thyrocytes with just 3 hours of exposure to cell phone radiation frequencies.   In addition, studies have show an association of altered thyroid function with increased cell phone use (Asl 2019) and  (Baby 2017) and  (Sinha 2008).

Thyroid cancer and genetic susceptibility is highlighted in a  new study (Luo 2020), which showed a statistically significant increase in those with genetic variants and with longer use of the cell phone.

Parotid tumors are also rising according to SEER data (Del Signore 2017)In a review of the literature Misha (2017) revealed that non-ionizing radiation from cell phones also caused changes in mucous cells and salivary gland dysfunction.

Head and Neck Biological  Effects of Cell Phones and Radiofrequency Radiation and Review Articles

  •  Exposure to non-ionizing electromagnetic fields emitted from mobile phones induced DNA damage in human ear canal hair follicle cells. (2018) Akdag M et al. Electromagn Biol Med. 2018;37:66–75. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29667447/
  • Effect of Cell Phone Radiations on Orofacial Structures: A Systematic Review. (2017) Mishra SK et al.  J Clin Diagn Res. 2017 May;11(5):ZE01-ZE05. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28658925/

Head and Neck Cancers- General Articles

Parotid Gland Tumors

The parotid gland is the largest salivary gland and located in front of each ear. The salivary secretions consist of water, electrolytes, mucus and enzymes which help to pre-digest food (alpha amylase), provide moisture in the mouth for chewing and prevent tooth decay.  Parotid tumors are rare and about 25% of parotid tumors are malignant. There is a noted increase in parotid tumors according to SEER data between 1973-2009.


Parotid Tumors and RFR Published Research 

Parotid Gland Dysfunction and Cell Phones- Published Research

Thyroid Gland Tumors

The thyroid gland is a paired endocrine organ located at the base of the neck below the Adam’s apple. The thyroid gland secretes thyroid hormones which affects functioning of all organs of the body. Normal metabolism as well as normal fetal development (especially the brain) is dependent on normal thyroid levels.  Thyroid function is discussed here.

Thyroide gland anatomy

The American Thyroid Association in 2017 discussed the worldwide increase in thyroid cancer . They state, “The incidence of thyroid cancer has increased dramatically during the past three decades and it is now the fastest growing cancer in women. Almost all of this increase is in papillary thyroid cancer. The reason for this is unclear, although many point to the increase in imaging studies of the neck where small thyroid nodules are discovered before they become apparent on physical exam. This has led to some investigators stating that thyroid cancer is being over diagnosed, meaning that many of the small thyroid cancers being found would never progress to the stage where survival ort health would be affected. However, there are many factors in the environment that may also cause an increase in thyroid nodules and thyroid cancer, including the release of radiation from nuclear reactor accidents.”

Thyroid cancer incidence SEER 2019 Screen Shot 2019-11-29 at 8.28.34 AM

Thyroid Tumors and RFR Published Research

Thyroid Gland Dysfunction and Cell Phones

  • The possible global hazard of cell phone radiation on thyroid cells and hormones: a systematic review of evidences. (2019) Asi JF et al.  Environ Sci Pollut REs Int. 2019 Jun;26(18):18017-18031. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31062236
  • Exposure to non-ionizing radiation provokes changes in rat thyroid morphology and expression of HSP-90. (2015) Misa-Agustiño MJ et al. Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2015 Feb 2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25649190
  • Plasma thyroid hormones and corticosterone levels in blood of chicken embryos and post hatch chickens exposed during incubation to 1800 MHz electromagnetic field. (2014)  Pawlak K, Sechman A, Nieckarz Z.  Int J Occup Med Environ Health. 2014 Jan 31.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24488772
  • Modulation of wireless (2.45 GHz)-induced oxidative toxicity in laryngotracheal mucosa of rat by melatonin. ( 2013)  Aynali G et al. Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2013;270(5):1695–700. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23479077
  • Pulse modulated 900 MHz radiation induces hypothyroidism and apoptosis in thyroid cells: a light, electron microscopy and immunohistochemical study. (2010) Esmekaya MA et al. Int J Radiat Biol. 2010 Dec;86(12):1106-16. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20807179
  • Alterations in TSH and thyroid hormones following mobile phone use. (2009) Mortavazi S et al. Oman Med J. 2009 Oct;24(4):274-8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22216380
  • Chronic non-thermal exposure of modulated 2450 MHz microwave radiation alters thyroid hormones and behavior of male rats.(2008) Sinha RK.  Int J Radiat Biol. 2008 Jun;84(6):505-13. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18470749
  • Effects of 900 MHz electromagnetic field on TSH and thyroid hormones in rats. (2005) Toxicol Lett.  2005 Jul 4;157(3):257-62. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15917150

Other Relevant Articles on Thyroid Dysfunction

Vestibular Nerve Tumors (Acoustic Neuromas)

An acoustic neuroma (also known as vestibular Schwannoma) is a slow growing benign tumor of Schwann nerve cells located in the inner ear on the vestibular nerve (See #20 on the diagram). The Vestibular nerve transmits sensory information on hearing and balance to the brain. With slow tumor growth the nerve is gradually compressed and causes increased symptoms of hearing loss (usually just on the affected side), ringing in the ear, loss of balance and facial numbness.

VEstibular Nerve Screen Shot 2018-06-23 at 7.58.07 AMVEstibular Nerve and EAr numbers SS

As the facial nerve which controls facial motion is located nearby, facial weakness can occur as well, but it is very rare. About 1 in 100,000 people per year develop an acoustic neuroma.

Acoustic Neuroma (Vestibular Neuroma), Cell Phone and Cordless Phone Use and RFR Published Research

See also https://www.saferemr.com/2017/04/acoustic-neuroma-and-cell-phone-use.html

Incidence of Acoustic Neuroma

Hearing and Tinnitus Effects of Cell Phones and RFR

Mucosal Tumors of the  head and Neck

Other Related Articles on Cancer