Could wearing a cell phone in your bra cause breast cancer?

Doctors call for additional research

Author: Rachel McNeill, Anchor/Medical Expert, rmcneill@kprc.com
Published On: Jul 09 2013 10:27:20 PM CDT   Updated On: Jul 10 2013 07:50:24 AM CDT
HOUSTON -

Several doctors are calling for more research into something mothers, runners, even teenagers do everyday -- keep their cell phones in their bras.

The concern is a possible link between cell phones and breast cancer.

Tiffany Franz was just 21 when she felt the lump in her breast.

"I have my whole life ahead of me," Franz said.

Donna Jaynes, a busy mother of three, was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 39.

"I don't have any history of breast cancer in my family," Jaynes said.

They are just two of the estimated 60,000 women each year who battle new cases of breast cancer.

However, because both women kept their cell phones in their bras, doctors say new scientific studies are needed to investigate the possible link between breast cancer and cell phones.

"I kept it in my bra because it was easy to feel on vibrate," Franz said. "It was easy to hear."

After treating Franz, Dr. Randall Oyer said he's worried the skin-on-skin contact between the phone and the breast may be linked to the cancerous tumor that grew inside Franz' breast.

"We don't see breast cancer at this age," Oyer, a cancer physician, said. "When we do, we have to ask some serious questions about what is going on."

A growing group of doctors nationwide say the cell phone concern is not only because young women or women without family cancer histories are getting breast cancer.

They say it's because of what they see on mammograms and images that show exactly where the breast cancer is forming.

"We saw this unusual distribution of these little bitty tumors," said Dr. John West, a breast cancer surgeon.

Jaynes began marking her skin on the outside of her breast where those little bitty tumors were showing up on the inside.

The marks were near where Jaynes routinely carried her cell phone.

"They kept finding another tumor and another tumor," Jaynes said. "We connected the dots. And realized they formed the shape of a cell phone."

Jaynes and her doctors shared her story as part of a upcoming documentary called "Mobilize".

The movie examines the potential dangers of cell phones.

Dr. Julie Nangia, a breast cancer specialist at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston says more research needs to be done before hysteria begins.

"Right now, I would say it's not dangerous, as far as we know," Nangia said. "More research is being done. If you can, it doesn't hurt to put your cell phone somewhere else in the meantime."

Researchers at the National Cancer Institute say so far studies have not shown a consistent link between cell phone use and any cancer.

However, researchers say more research is needed because cell phone technology continues to change.