Could where you carry your cell phone make you sick? Some doctors say they’re seeing evidence of breast cancer that could be linked to where some women keep their mobile phones.
Tiffany Frantz and other young women tell KTVU it’s convenient way to hold on to their cell phone. “I put my cellphone right in my bra,” said Frantz.
However, her mother Traci Frantz expressed misgivings. “We never took it seriously until after she was diagnosed,” said Traci Frantz.
At the age of 21 years old, Tiffany got breast cancer.
“Her tumors were exactly where her cellphone had been against her skin her bare skin for about six years,” said Traci Frantz. Their family has no genetic or other risk factors. Surgeons ended up removing Tiffany’s left breast.
“It’s kinda coincidental that it’s right where I kept my cellphone,” said Tiffany.
Coincidence? Donna Jaynes got breast cancer at 39. Her family also no had risk factors for cancer. Her doctor showed KTVU the dots where her tumors developed just a half an inch beneath her skin.
“All in this area right here, which is where I tucked my cellphone,” said Jaynes. She said she did just that for ten years. She had a mastectomy.
“I thought cellphones were safe. I was under the impression that they were,” said Jaynes.
Breast surgeon Lisa Bailey believes cellphone-related breast cancer may be common. But doctors rarely ask about phones.
“I would never wear a cellphone immediately next to my body and I would advise all women not to do that,” said Bailey.
Nevertheless, new bras are now on the market with pockets for cellphones. This may be convenient, but doctors said they are risky, especially for younger women.
“These young breast in the early evolution are more sensitive to changes that might lead to cancer,” said Dr. John West, a breast cancer surgeon.
West, his colleague Dr. Lisa Bailey and others are now sounding an alarm. They say men are also getting breast cancer by putting their cellphones in their shirt pockets. The wireless industry denies any problem citing a lack of scientific evidence that cellphones cause breast cancer.
“Until further data either supports it or disproves it, I would keep cellphones away from the body, in particular the breasts,” said Dr. June Chen.
Doctors recommend cell phone users read manufacturers fine print. For instance, iPhone manuals suggest users keep their phone at least 5/8 of an inch away from any body part.
“It’s as simple as that and it might save a life. It might avoid a mastectomy, chemotherapy. It’s easy enough to do. Why take a chance?” asked West.
Tiffany’s mom says she wishes she’d spoken up.
“I am convinced her cellphone has caused her breast cancer,” said Traci Frantz.
“If there is a risk and we don’t find out about it for five or ten years from now, we’re going to see a whole cluster of young people with breast cancer,” said Dr. John West.