Ken Karipidis, Rohan Mate, Masoumeh Sanagou, Chris Brzozek, David Urban and Mark Elwood.


ARPANSA and the University of Auckland.


Cancer Epidemiology


August 2021


There has been a significant increase in the use of mobile phones over the last three decades and a possible association with head cancers has been suggested, including cancers of the parotic and other salivary glands. We examined the incidence time trends of parotid and other salivary gland cancers in Australia to ascertain the influence of increased mobile phone use.


Analyses of incidence time trends were carried out using Poisson regression to estimate the annual percentage change (APC) in the incidence of salivary gland cancers of all available national registration data from 1982 to 2016, as well as specific time periods (1982−1993, 1994−2005, 2006−2016) representing changes in the prevalence of mobile phone use.


The incidence of parotid gland cancer was stable for the periods 1982−1993 and 1994−2005. During 2006−2016 there was a large decrease in parotid gland cancer for males (APC: -3.71, 95 %CI: -6.66 to -0.67) and a large increase in females (4.80, 1.77–7.91) for adults aged 20−59 years. The incidence for other salivary gland cancers was stable during all the periods.


The results do not indicate that mobile phone use increased the incidence of parotid or other salivary gland cancers. An increase in parotid gland cancer in females since 2006 may be attributed to other possible risk factors specific to this gender.

Link to study

Access to information FOI disclosure log Information public scheme