Cancer studies with personal comments 2007-11-22

(For a plain list see:

You are always welcome to contact me at if you can not download a copy from here. Or Click here.

On this site I will place pdf-copies of my papers as they arrive in the press as long as that is permitted by the journals.

1. Cancer mortality and long-term sick leave

The first paper is in Swedish and deals with the obvious connection between cancer mortality and the difficulties to recover from long sickness periods.

Download a pdf-copy here (130 k, in Swedish). Here is an English pdf. (only 10k)

Ref 1. Hallberg ÷, Johansson O, "CancerdŲdlighet och lŚngtidssjukskrivning" (="Cancer mortality and long-term sick leave"; in Swedish), Tidskriften Medikament 2002; 7: 40-41

2. Have thousands of people unnecessarily been sacrificed since 1955?

Ref 2. Hallberg ÷, Johansson O, "Har tusentals personer offrats i onŲdan sedan 1955?" (="Have thousands of persons unnecessarily been sacrificed since 1955?"; in Swedish), Nord Tidsskr Biol Med 2002; 2: 26-27 :

This is a debate article that points at the drastic increase in cancer rates from 1955. Nobody seems interested in finding out the reason behind this trend break.

Download a pdf-copy here (105 k, in Swedish). An English translation is available here.

3. Melanoma Incidence and Frequency Modulation (FM) Broadcasting

Ref 3. Hallberg Ö, Johansson O. Melanoma incidence and frequency modulation (FM) broadcasting. Arch Environ Health (2002); 57: 32-40

This paper refers to a study where the geographical and epidemiological relationships over time were analyzed regarding malignant melanoma and the expansion of FM-broadcasting networks. Four different countries were analyzed giving almost identical response models over time for melanoma cancers. In Sweden it was found that communities that were covered by many FM main towers also had a much higher propability of having high melanoma incidence numbers. Much more statistics is presented (and even more is not published due to space limits).

A German description of this paper can be found on this link. Another comment is given on p 30 in this document: Read the comment.


4. Cancer Trends During the 20th Century

Ref 4. Hallberg Ö, Johansson O. Cancer trends during the 20th century. ACNEM Journal (2002); 21(1): 3-8.

In this paper the authors reviewed trends and relations between different cancers in Sweden and other countries. Some cancer forms relate to melanoma of skin while leukememiae does not. A common environmental stress is accelerating several cancer forms and this stress should be identified and eliminated.

Get a pdf-copy from ACNEM: here
A German review of this article can be found here

5. Malignant Melanoma of Skin - Not a Sunshine Story!

Ref 5. Hallberg Ö. and Johansson O. Malignant Melanoma of Skin - Not a Sunshine Story!, Med Sci Monit, (2004); 10(7): CR336-340. Abstract.

It appears that this paper became very popular. In 14 months 6245 copies had been downloaded. In Nov 2007 it was close to 10 000 copies. The paper points at the fact that sun-travelling did not start until 7 years after the drastic increase of melanoma mortality was noticed. But still bad sun-habits is the only allowable explanation due to obvious reasons...

6. Does GSM 1800 MHz affect the public health in Sweden?

Ref 6. Hallberg ÷, Johansson O. Does GSM 1800 MHz affect the public health in Sweden? In: Proceedings of the 3rd International Workshop "Biological Effects of EMFs", Kos, Greece, October 4-8, 2004, pp 361-364. (Abstract)

This was a conference contribution. The interest was great, lots of questions. One pointed out that the output power used is relevant for GSM 900 only since GSM 1800 is limited to 1W. A good point, but it does not change anything of the conclusions. The scientific base for the correlations between health and the output power from mobile phones was questioned by one person. This is also a good point and one should always investigate all sorts of possible confounders. I did not cover this at the conference presentation but I had been looking at: Mobile system coverage (% of area), % of No-votes for the Euro, Output power (W), Population density and more. The strongest correlation was found for the output power, closely followed by the mobile coverage.

If you want a copy of the abstract just click here and order one free of charge! A ppt-file can also be requested or downloaded..

7. Long-term sickness and mobile phone use

Ref 7. Hallberg ÷, Johansson O, "Long-term sickness and mobile phone use", J Aust Coll Nutr & Env Med, 2004; 23: 11-12

The paper looks at long-term absence and mobile phone use. If the association noticed holds true a health-tax might be appropriate to add to the phone bill.

Click here for a pdf of the article.

8. Mobile handset power and health

Ref 8. Hallberg ÷, Johansson O. Mobile handset power and health. Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine (2004); 23:229-239.

A report that gives the background for the association seen between phone output power and sickness in different counties of Sweden. Click here to order a scanned pdf-copy free of charge!

Note! In June 2005 an other report appeared pointing at the increased risk for brain cancer in rural areas as compared to city areas. See: Use Of Cellular Telephones And Brain Tumour Risk In Urban And Rural Areas Lennart Hardell, Michael Carlberg, And Kjell Hansson Mild, Occupational and Environmental Medicine, June 2005 issue.

As Sir Winston Churchill once said: The most important lesson life ever taught me is that the idiots many times are right.

9. 1997 - A curious year in Sweden

Ref 9. Hallberg ÷, Johansson O. 1997 - A curious year in Sweden. Eur J Cancer Prev (2004); 13: 535-538

This correspondence contribution points at all odd things that seemed to happen during the autumn of 1997. Was it just a matter of coincidence that the new GSM system running at 1800 MHz happened to start at that time? Click here to apply for a pdf-copy free of charge!

10. FM Broadcasting Exposure Time and Malignant Melanoma Incidence

Ref 10. Hallberg ÷, Johansson O. FM broadcasting exposure time and malignant melanoma incidence. Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine (2005); 24: 1-8.

In this paper the age-specific incidence of malignant melanoma is being studied and some interesting results are reported. The paper gives a base for a more theoretical approach on the subject of a population affected from a sudden environmental change. Click here to apply for a pdf-copy free of charge!

11. Hearing problems and acoustic neuroma cancer in Sweden

Ref 11. Hallberg Ö. Hearing problems and acoustic neuroma cancer in Sweden. Pathophysiology (2005); 12(2): 143-144.

This short paper published in The Official Journal of the International Society for Pathophysiology looks at the prevalence of hearing problems and acoustic neuroma in different parts of Sweden and compares sparsely populated areas with more densely populated areas. The results appear to be just as one should expect. See also ref. 8. Click here to apply for a pdf-copy free of charge!

12. Increasing incidence of malignant melanoma of the skin can be modeled as a response to a suddenly imposed environmental stress.

Ref 12. Hallberg Ö. Increasing incidence of malignant melanoma of the skin can be modeled as a response to suddenly imposed environmental stress. Med Sci Monit, 2005; 11(10): CR457-461.

In this paper I have shown that an environmental stress suddenly imposed in the mid-1950s for the Nordic countries affecting people from 13 years of age and above, can mathematically explain the age-specific pattern for melanoma of skin noticed in the investigated countries. Corresponding results were also found for the USA but here an environmental change seems to have emmenced in the late 1960's. Abstract. Download pdf

13. Alzheimer mortality - why does it increase so fast in sparsely populated areas?

Ref.13. Hallberg ÷, Johansson O. Alzheimer mortality - why does it increase so fast in sparsely populated areas? European Biology and Bioelectromagnetics. 2005; 1: 225-246.

Most neuralgic diseases have been rather stable over time in Sweden with one exception. The mortality in Alzheimer has increased dramatically, and most in the country-side areas of Sweden. A projection of future deaths is also given.

14. 1997 - A curious year in Sweden

Hallberg ÷, Johansson O. 1997 - A curious year in Sweden Annual ECP symposium & Michael J. Hill Memorial Lecture. Cell phones & cancer. November 4 & 5, 2005 Floreal Club, Blankenberge, Belgium. Abstract; Photo

This is an abstract from a conference in Belgium arranged by the European Jpournal of Cancer Prevention. I presented an update of the earlier presentation given in Kos 2004 (ref. 6 above). The conference was well attended and I was also interviewed by the Belgium TV. I was also asked to submit a new paper on the subject of population health to the Journal, which I did (see ref. 16).

15. A theory and model to explain the skin melanoma epidemic

Hallberg ÷. A theory and model to explain the skin melanoma epidemic. Melanoma Research, 2006; 16; 115-118. Abstract

Deeper studies of melanoma statistics after the publication of the first model (see ref 12 above) indicated that one and the same statistical function could be used to describe the melanoma incidence trends both before and after the introduction of the FM-radio transmitters. Before the FM-era the incidence did not increase much after the age of 30 while since we got the FM-towers the incidence continued to increase according to the life distribution function without this age-limitation. This model fits very well with measured data and gave inspiration to further studies on cell level.

16. Adverse health indicators correlating with sparsely populated areas in Sweden

Hallberg ÷. Adverse health indicators correlating with sparsely populated areas in Sweden. Eur J Cancer Prev, 2007, 16:71-76. Abstract

This is the paper that came out of the conference meeting in Belgium, November 2005. I looked specifically at the correlation between population density and the incidence or prevalence of different health or adverse health indicators in all counties of Sweden. Since the correlation was quite strong in many cases and it is not realistic to believe that a low population density is dangerous to the health per se I looked at other factors that might explain what was seen. Such factors were found, and the correlations got even stronger! Take a look at this paper. Just a coincidence???

17. Say to countryside goodbye, when even healthy people die

Hallberg ÷, Johansson O. Say to countryside goodbye, when even healthy people die. Report nr. 6/ issue 1/ISSN 1400-6111/2004-06-30. (This booklet is in Swedish) Can also be downloaded in pdf-files.

When working with epidemiology research one often comes across lots of interesting things. But only a fraction of it can be published. In this case we had several potential papers in the desk that probably never would become published. So, one day Olle Johansson suggested: Why not put these papers together and make a booklet out of them? The book deals with the sudden trend change in general mortality around 1955. Why did it not continue its good trend from before but suddenly stayed quite flat? Another question was why the prostate cancer suddenly started to increase from 1997 onwards, the same year as the general public health started to deteriorate in Sweden? We looked at head melanoma, the increasing adverse health indicators in the country side and the correlation between different social security payments and the mobile phone system's coverage in different parts of the country. A mixture of papers indeed...

18. Will we all become electrosensitive?

Hallberg ÷, Oberfeld G. Will we all become electrosensitive? Letter to the Editor. Electromag Biol and Medicine. 25: 189-191, 2006

An article by Mona Nilsson, a Swedish journalist, about increasing rates of electrosensitive people in several countries triggered this paper. After reading her article I decided to collect all information about measured prevalence of electrosensitivity in different countries over time from peer-reviewed papers and other reliable sources to see if there was a clear trend of increasing prevalence. A well-known professor from Austria, Dr Gerd Oberfeld was very helpful in supplying reference meaterial and to support authoring the paper. The question was: In what type of diagram should such a trend be plotted to be useful for prediction purposes? Well, if we assume that all these electrosensitive people are not just psykosomatic freaks, as our authorities like to think, then it is just a matter of time and exposure intensity before most of us eventually will become electrosensitive. And the most likely distribution of this time to illness would be a normal distribution. If the fraction of electrosensitive people versus linear time is plotted as the number of standard deviations from the mean value (50%), then we should expect to see a stright line in such a plot.

And indeed it looked very linear. The line indicates that around 50% of the population may regard themself as electrosensitive in som way by year 2017, only 10 years from now!

19. The etiology of melanoma

Hallberg ÷. The etiology of melanoma. 4th International Workshop on Biological Effects of Electromagnetic Fields in Crete, Greece on Oct 16-20, 2006. pp 766-767.

In a conference on EMF biological effects I presented all the work I had been involved in regarding melanoma etiology. I also gave some hints about the latest modeling work I have been doing although it was not yet published. The presentation was very well received and I got lots of good questions from the audience.

20. The urban decline of the house sparrow (Passer domesticus): a possible link with electromagnetic radiation

Balmori A, Hallberg ÷. The urban decline of the house sparrow (Passer domesticus): a possible link with electromagnetic radiation. EBM 26(2), 2007:141-51. (Abstract)

Dr Balmori is a well known researcher in the area of birds and EMF. One day I got an e-main request from him asking if I was interested to support him with statistical analysis of all his raw data collected during four years of bird counting and EMF measuring. I got interested and it all ended up in this very interesting paper. There is no doubt that the birds really avoid high electromagnetic fields. The statistical proof is there and it is just for others to repeat the study in even more rigorous ways if wanted. And we don't think that the sparrows just are afraid of the tall masts, they feel the radiation. May-be it is an itchy feeling in their fethers that makes them want to escape from such places. May-be it's a pity we can't feel the same. Recently I noticed that the HF power density in the nearby shopping centre is 2000 times stronger than it is in my home. So next time I may go shopping somewear else...

21. Letter in reply to manuscript by Robin Lucas et al. Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Hallberg ÷. Letter in reply to manuscript by Robin Lucas et al. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, May 2007, 85 (5)

Robin Lucas et al had an article "Is the current public health message on UV exposure correct" published by the WHO Bulletin. It was a good paper and I made some comments on the possible link to electromagnetic radiation, other than that of UV, and melanoma. The author responded very positively to my comments and suggested that individual level studies should be performed to verify a causative association via impaired cell repair and apaptosis mechanisms.

22. Increasing incidence of brain tumors in sparsely populated areas

Hallberg ÷. Increasing incidence of brain tumors in sparsely populated areas. Pathophysiology, 2007;14:121-22 (link to journal)

A study of cancer rates of the central nervous system (CNS) in different parts of the country since 1970 showed that the rate has been increasing most in the more densely populated areas of the country for all tumors except tumors in the brain. Brain tumors, in contrary show a statistically significant increase in the more sparsely populated areas of the country! This is true for both men and women but most significant for men. The article points at the generally much higher oputput power from mobile phones at the country side as a possible or even most likely reason for this inverse relationship between population density and brain cancer.

23. A reduced repair efficiency can explain increasing melanoma rates

Hallberg ÷. A reduced repair efficiency can explain increasing melanoma rates. European Journal of Cancer Prevention. 2007 (in press)

As mentioned at the Creete conference (ref 19) I have been further developing and simplifying the model concept of melanoma following the two earlier papers (ref 12 and 15). In this work we can see how well a single cancer risk probability function together with a repair probability function can fit reported age-standardized rates and also (just by coincidence...?) exactly fit all age-specific curves over calendar time without any further parameter changes. Hopefully, the paper will be published within a few months.