The Swedish Cancer Society, a controversial professor and Exponent

In a new article in NewsVoice, Mona Nilsson (scientific journalist) continues to review a controversial professor at KI and Harvard and his affiliations with industry. In spite of large funds from the Swedish Cancer Society to identify cancer risks and initiate prevention he has continued to greenwash cancer risks. This is a most remarkable story that can be read here, unfortunately only in Swedish. It is justified to ask what ethical, moral and not the least scientific principles are used (or not used at all) by the Swedish Cancer Society. After all the money comes from persons concerned about the increasing number of cancer cases and keen to know risk factors and reduce cancer risks.


Mobile phones, brain tumour risk and wrong information from the Swedish Cancer Society

In a letter dated March 12, 2015 Stefan Bergh at the Swedish Cancer Society writes that there is no association between use of mobile phones and brain tumours: “To talk in a mobile phone does not increase the risk for brain tumour”. The letter is in Swedish, see part of it below.

That statement is not according to the evaluation made by IARC in May 2011 concluding that RF-EMF is a ‘possible human carcinogen’ Group 2B. Further research has strengthened the association.

More and more persons in Sweden are diagnosed with cancer. Thus, it is important that the Swedish Cancer Society gives correct information on risk factors. Our research on wireless phone use and the risk for brain tumours has mainly been supported in Sweden by Cancer- och Allergifonden and Cancerhjälpen, but not at all by the Swedish Cancer Society.


Meningioma and use of wireless phones

We published recently pooled results of our case-control studies on meningioma and use of wireless phones (mobile phones and cordless phones). The patients were all inhabitants in Sweden and were diagnosed during 1997-2003 or 2007-2009. In total 1625 cases and 3500 controls participated. The control population was drawn from the Swedish population register.

Overall no consistent association was found for use of wireless phones, although somewhat increased risk was found in the group with highest cumulative use of wireless phones and longest latency period (time from first use until diagnosis). These results are similar to findings in other studies in this area. Our results are in contrast to the clearly increased risk for glioma and acoustic neuroma in the same studies. All types of brain tumours were investigated. Thus, different findings for different tumour types clearly show that the results cannot be explained by bias. In that case similar results would have been obtained regardless of tumour type.

Our study is published in a scientific journal and can be found here.

Swedish cancer researcher paid by the Swedish Cancer Society has for long time worked for industry to deny cancer risks

In 2013 more than 61,000 new cancer cases were reported to the Swedish Cancer Register. This was all time high and may be compared with e.g. 1970 with 28,000 cases. The increase is remarkable even if age and population number is considered.

 The Swedish Cancer Society has for long time dominated as a sponsor of cancer research. Much has been achieved in microbiology and treatment. However, the Cancer Society has a less prominent history as to cancer prevention, especially regarding chemical risk factors such as pesticides, dioxins, and PCB.

In contrast, in a recent article in NewsVoice we are told that a Swedish cancer researcher with large funds from the Cancer Society, and even a personal employment to diminish cancer risks, for long time has worked for industry to deny cancer risks. In spite of this fact, known since more than a decade, the Cancer Society has continued to support that researcher with large funds achieved from donations from the public.

The article in NewsVoice is unfortunately in Swedish but starts with:

“The Cancer Society has during 2 decades paid in total more than 30 million Swedish krona (3,2 million Euro) to the controversial professor Hans-Olov Adami. Adami has been criticized more than 10 years ago for his close co-operation with the chemical industry. In spite of that fact the Cancer Society has continued to pay more than 20 million Swedish krona to Professor Adami. During the same time Adami has dismissed risks for cancer from Agent Orange, dioxin, formaldehyde, pesticides and mobile phones. During the same time period the number of persons that get cancer in Sweden has increased with 30 %.”