Claim: A woman contracted breast cancer from carrying a cell phone in her bra.
Example: [Collected via e-mail, May 2013]
Origins: The video linked above was a news report from York, Pennsylvania, television station WGAL about Tiffany Franz, a Strasburg resident who was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was just
Tiffany eventually underwent a mastectomy to remove her left breast, and given her youth, her lack of genetic predispositions or risk
However, although some women who typically tote cell phones in their bras have developed breast cancer, there is as yet no hard evidence proving or disproving the notion that the connection between the two is anything more than coincidence. Some doctors recommend that women not carry cell phones in brassieres, and cell phone manuals usually advise users to carry their phones some minimum distance (a half-inch or so) away from their bodies and avoid direct contact with the skin, but those are "better safe than sorry" precautionary measures and not warnings based on empirical evidence demonstrating a connection between cell phones and cancer:
Breast surgeon Lisa Bailey said phone-related breast cancer may be common. Saying it may be the heat of the battery of the radio frequency of the radiation that makes keeping a phone directly on the skin risky.
"These young breasts in the early evolution are more sensitive to changes that might lead to cancer," Bailey said.
Other breast cancer specialist are now speaking out as well.
The wireless industry, meanwhile, denies any problem, citing a lack of scientific evidence that cellphones cause breast cancer.
Those concerned doctors though say it's because not enough studies have been completed.
"There's no evidence, but that's because we haven't studied it," Bailey said.
"Until further data either supports it or disproves it, I would keep cell phones away from the body, in particular the breasts," adds
In the meantime, experts convinced of the link say better safe than sorry.
"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?" West said. "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."
Wendy Holt, 51, from Bracknell, Berkshire, fell into a habit of keeping her phone in her bra when she went out so it would be within easy reach.
However she now believes radiation from her phone was to blame for her breast cancer diagnosis in 2012, as she had no family history of the disease.
Despite no longer storing her phone in this way — and getting the all clear of cancer — the disease returned in her lungs and lymph nodes earlier this year.
Her terminal diagnosis means it's unlikely she will reach her 53rd birthday.
He said: 'There have been thousands of studies into the safety of mobile phones but no link has been established with breast cancer — even in these unusual circumstances.
'There have been some papers about a certain type of brain tumour, called gliomas, but in this case, it is intrinsically unlikely that contact with the phone was to blame for this lady's cancer.
'She would be exposed to a minor, trivial dose of electromagnetic radiation when the phone went off, but that would be it.'
And Carolyn Rogers, Clinical Nurse Specialist at Breast Cancer Care said:
'It's not possible to isolate any one factor as a cause of breast cancer, however, at present there is no evidence available to suggest that radio frequency waves from mobile phones can cause breast cancer.
'The biggest risk factors for developing breast cancer are being female and getting older — 80 per cent diagnosed are over the age of 50.
'These are factors we cannot control. For some, having a significant family history can increase your risk, however fewer than 10 per cent of all breast cancers are caused by inheriting a faulty breast cancer gene.'
|Update: Cell Phone and Breast Cancer (BeAware Foundation)|
Last updated: 16 September 2015
WTVR-TV [Richmond, VA]. "Doctors: Women Who Store Phone in Bras at Risk for Breast Cancer." 19 November 2012.