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MOBILE TELECOMMUNICATIONS HEALTH AND SAFETY NEWS

USA breast surgeons concerned about smartphones in bras


  Phone in your Bra
  image: Wikihow

Breast surgeons in the USA have raised concerns about how women carry their smartphones in a report which outlines four cases of breast cancer in young women who kept their phones in their bra for up to ten hours a day.

 
“All patients regularly carried their smartphones directly against their breasts in their brassieres for up to 10 hours a day, for several years, and developed tumors in areas of their breasts immediately underlying the phones,” the report published in Case Reports in Medicine in August said.
 
“These four cases of young women with sporadic, multifocal breast cancer bring forth the possibility of a relationship between prolonged direct skin contact with cellular phones and the development of breast cancer. To date there is insufficient laboratory or clinical evidence to establish a definite relationship between exposures to the electromagnetic radiation (EMR) emitted from cellular devices and the risk of developing cancer.”
 
However, the authors warned about jumping to conclusions from such a small sample and one that does not include other women who carry their phones in the same way but did not develop the disease and potential bias in the women’s recall of how long and where they carried their phones in their bra.
 
“Caution must be exercised in drawing any conclusion from our small sample. Millions of women are using cellular devices, and it is predictable that rare events will occur. From this small case series, one cannot infer causality but can only consider association,” the report said.
 
“Additionally, no data is available on the number of women who place their cellular phones in contact with their breast and do not develop breast cancer. Finally, the duration of exposure and the location of placement of the cell phone in direct contact with the breast are subject to recall bias.”
 
In 2011, the US Institute of Medicine completed a detailed review of scientific research on environmental factors that may affect breast cancer risk.
 
“Avoiding personal use of hair dyes and non-ionizing radiation emitted by mobile devices and other technologies likely will not impact a woman's risk for breast cancer, as multiple studies have found no connection to the disease,” the comprehensive Breast Cancer and the Environment report concluded.
 
The Cancer Council of NSW provides the following advice about breast cancer:
 
“The breast cancer chapter of our National Cancer Prevention Policy contains evidence-based information on breast cancer prevention, including recommendations on screening. A more comprehensive suite of breast cancer resources is available from the Australian Government’s Cancer Australia website.”

 

Published 9/04/2014

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