The buzz on breast cancer: Calif. doctors warn of potential cell phone risks

  • Play

Video by

The buzz on breast cancer: Calif. doctors warn of potential cell phone risks

CREATED Feb 5, 2013 - UPDATED: Feb 6, 2013

Reporter: Cory Marshall
Web Producer: Mekita Rivas

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - It's a trend formed out of function -- not fashion. No purse? No problem.

More and more women are carrying their cell phones inside their bras for safe keeping during workouts and when going out.

While many physicians argue there isn't enough research to prove it, a group of Northern California doctors say carrying your cell phone that close to your body could increase your risk of developing breast cancer. They go as far as to warn women and men, not to carry their mobile phones in breast pockets or bras.

"Err on the side of caution and don't keep your cell phone on your body," said Dr. Lisa Bailey, a breast surgeon in Oakland, Calif.
Bailey says one of her patients currently battling breast cancer developed the disease in the exact spot she carried her cell phone. Bailey admits any evidence is purely anecdotal but believes more research is warranted.

"That does not prove that the cell phone in any way was the cause. It does raise some concerns," Bailey told 9OYS's Cory Marshall during a phone interview. 

The reality is, companies are catering to the convenience. Some athletic lines now offer sports bras with built-in side pocked to place a cell phone and cell phone cases are now available with credit card slots and cash compartments.

9OYS interviewed a group of girls from the University of Arizona as they were getting ready to go out.

"Did you ever worry that maybe having your cell phone that close to you might do some harm down the road?," 9OYS's Cory Marshall asked UA senior, Lara Goldberg.

"That never crossed my mind," Goldberg said.

"It's kind of a habit now, especially when you don't know anybody that it's happened to. It's like, that's not going to happen to me," UA senior Emily Gerston said.

9OYS called several breast surgeons and oncologists in Tucson and across Arizona.

A majority of the doctors we spoke with say there is not enough evidence to back the theory either way. They declined to talk on camera. Doctors admit there are environmental factors linked to cancers, but any connection between breast cancer and where a person stashes their cell phone is purely anecdotal at this point.

Doctors say it will be years before any research showing the connection between mobile phones and cancers are available.