Doctors: Women who store phone in bras at risk for breast cancer

Posted at 8:54 AM, Nov 19, 2012
and last updated 2012-11-19 13:50:30-05

(CNN) - Is there a link between breast cancer and cell phones? Some doctors say they're seeing evidence of breast cancer that could be connected to where some women  keep their mobile phone--in their bras.

Tiffany Franz got breast cancer at just 21-years-old. She had no genetic predispositions or other risk factors--except where she kept her cell phone.

"It just so happened her tumors were exactly where her cell phone had been against her skin, her bare skin, for about six years," Traci Frantz, Tiffany's mom, told KTVU in Oakland.

Tiffany had to have her left breast removed.

Donna Jayes also got breast cancer. While she was a bit older, her late 30's, she also had no genetic risk factors. The connection is where the tumors developed. Her doctor says they formed just under the skin, exactly matching her cell phone, and just under the surface of her skin.

She says she kept her phone in her shirt for ten years. She later had a mastectomy.

Breast surgeon Lisa Bailey told KTVU 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.

Nevertheless, bras are now be marketed for the express purpose of carrying cell phones, with little pockets built-in to hold cell phones.

Other breast cancer specialist are now speaking out as well. Dr. John West says men who keep their phones in their shirt pockets are also at risk.

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 Dr. June Chen, a Breast Cancer Radiologist.

In the meantime, doctors say you should read the fine print on your phones. The new Iphone manual says you should keep the phone at least 10 millimeter--or about half an inch--away from the body.

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."