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Could women be dialing in breast cancer by carrying a cell phone in their bra?

By Devra Davis, PhD, MPH

Donna Jayne is a busy California mother of three dealing with the constant demands of being a conscientious wife and mother. This has kept her on the go, and on her cell phone… a lot.

For more than six years, this vegetarian and runner drove her children everywhere with her cell phone tucked into her sports bra. She used her hands-free headset and was on the phone for four to five hours a day. Often, her chest or ear would redden, but she thought little of it.

“Carrying my cell phone in my bra as a holster caused my breast cancer,” says Donna, who thought it would be completely safe to do so. As a matter of fact, she never even thought about whether it would be safe or not. Why would she? There are no labels, directions or cautions listed anywhere on a cell phone. If they weren’t safe, wouldn’t somebody have said something by now? Keeping the cell phone close to her body was a necessity.

Until one night, while lying next to her husband in bed, she felt a pulsing over her right breast. “I probably pulled a muscle while lifting weights,” she thought to herself. She mentioned it to her husband, who “felt it and freaked.” This prompted her to set the appointment with her OB. At first, he said it was probably nothing. Later, a biopsy announced the frightening diagnosis: invasive carcinoma with ductal and lobular features.

Donna was devastated. Her family was in shock. Her dedication to a healthy lifestyle made the diagnosis even more perplexing. She ate well, exercised and had no family history of cancer. She even took the DNA test that showed she did not have the so-called “breast cancer gene.” She also kept herself well connected to family and friends. Could it be that the connection she used, via a cellular phone, is the very reason that she is now faced with cancer?

Her husband was the first to notice how close the tumors were located to where she would commonly store her cell phone. The first doctor dismissed this link, saying there were no studies correlating cell phone radiation and breast cancer. Later, she met Dr. John West, a renowned physician with over 30 years of surgical and medical experience. He was noticing a pattern of patients coming to him with tumors in very odd locations, and he brought up the cell phone factor. Two other physicians agreed that the cell phone use is a likely cause for Donna’s tumors. “As a physician, I have reason for concern,” says Dr. West.

And what of all those women tucking their cell phones into their bras? Our bodies are truly electric. Electric impulses allow our muscles to move and our minds to think. But the steady, low electrical impulses that keep us alive may be disrupted by the pulsed signals that power today’s small microwave radio cell phones.

Physicists like Michael Shermer note in Scientific American that cell phone radiation is too weak to break ionic bonds that hold together our DNA and living cells. But microwave cell phone radiation from cell phones is constantly streaming back and forth to towers, and can cause cancer and other diseases by increasing the production of damaging free radicals in the bloodstream and weakening cell walls and cellular defenses.

Millions of young women around the world are putting phones next to their chests, not realizing what some may think is sexy for a moment could turn out to be dreadful decades later. If the physicians who have contacted me are correct that their young breast cancer cases came about from holding cell phones at the chest, that warm tingle from the cell phone pressed to the bosom could presage breast cancer in the future. Experimental studies show that cell phone radiation accelerates the growth of breast cancer cells. It’s time to get a headset, and take those phones out of your pockets and bras.

Far better to be safe now than sorry years later.

Devra Davis is the founder of the Environmental Health Trust, an organization dedicated to providing basic research and education about environmental health hazards and promote constructive policies locally, nationally and internationally. Dr. Davis lectures at Georgetown and Harvard, and is the Founding Director of the Center for Environmental Oncology and University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute. Her new book Disconnect (selected by TIME magazine as a top pick) provides shocking detail about cell phone radiation and your health.

Published: May 14th, 2012