Many people lavish more attention on their cell phone than they do on their mate or children.
The cell phone is their first encounter in the morning and their last at night. They talk to it, stroke it, and tuck it close to their most intimate parts. They laugh, smirk, yell and cry to their cell phones.
For many, their cell phone is their closest confidante, and their most beguiling source of interaction.
How do you know, though, if this is a functional or dysfunctional relationship?
Could this intimate liaison actually be harmful to your health?
Cell phone and brain cancer risk
Last autumn I was preparing a talk about preventing cancer. For over three years I worked with late stage cancer patients at Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA), so I was very familiar with predictions about the number of people who will develop certain cancers. I wanted to be sure, though, I had the most recent information.
When I reviewed the American Cancer Society’s website to see if the numbers had changed, most of the statistics were very familiar: 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer during their lifetime; 1 in 23 people will be diagnosed with colon cancer.
I scanned down the list. The last item caught my eye. I read the numbers; then I read them again.
My jaw dropped.
1 in 2 men will develop brain cancer.
1 in 3 women will develop brain cancer.
For most of the twentieth century, brain tumors were rare. During my last two years at CTCA, I saw an alarming rise in malignant brain tumors in general, and among young people in particular.
Why this sudden, catastrophic rise in brain tumors?
The short answer is cordless phones and cell phones.
Mobile phones and cell phones emit radio frequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF). In May 2011 The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) at the World Health Organization (WHO) designated the RF-EMF emitted by cell phones and cordless phones as 2B, a “possible” carcinogens.
In 2013 researchers in England used the “Bradford Principles” to establish cordless phones and mobile phones as 2A, probable carcinogens. They called upon the IARC to change the cell phone and cordless phone danger from possible to probable carcinogens.[i]
In 2014 scientists reported the results of the CERENAT study in France that demonstrated increased risk of malignant brain tumors for people who had used a mobile phone for a decade or longer.[ii] The statistics likely would have been even higher if digitally enhanced cordless phones, used by approximately half of the French population, had been included in the study as well.
In 2015 French researchers also called upon IARC to reclassify cell phones as class 2A, meaning “probable” human carcinogens, instead of “possible” carcinogens.[iii]
Cell phones and breast cancer risk
A group of oncologists in California recently reported four cases of women in their thirties who developed breast cancer exactly where their cell phones were in contact with their breast. All 4 women had similar tumors (multifocal tumor formation).[iv]
Cell phones and male fertility
Men who carry cell phones in their pants pocket have lower sperm counts, slower sperm motility, more abnormally shaped sperm, and decreased viability (their sperm don’t live as long). These abnormalities seem to be directly related to the duration of mobile phone use.[v]
The bottom line: cell phones contribute to the development of brain and breast cancer and reduce male fertility.
[i] Hardell L, Carlberg M. Using the Hill viewpoints from 1965 for evaluating strengths of evidence of the risk
for brain tumors associated with use of mobile and cordless phones. Rev Environ Health. 2013;28(2-3):97-106. doi: 10.1515/reveh-2013-0006.
[ii] Coureau G1, Bouvier G, et al. Mobile phone use and brain tumours in the CERENAT case-control study. Occup Environ Med. 2014 Jul;71(7):514-22. doi: 10.1136/oemed-2013-101754. Epub 2014 May 9.
[iii] Morgan LL1, Miller AB, et al. Mobile phone radiation causes brain tumors and should be classified as a probable human carcinogen (2A) (review). Int J Oncol. 2015 May;46(5):1865-71. doi: 10.3892/ijo.2015.2908. Epub 2015 Feb 25.
[iv] West JG1, Kapoor NS. Multifocal Breast Cancer in Young Women with Prolonged Contact between Their Breasts and Their Cellular Phones. Case Rep Med. 2013;2013:354682. doi: 10.1155/2013/354682. Epub 2013 Sep 18.
[v] La Vignera S1, Condorelli RA, et al. Effects of the exposure to mobile phones on male reproduction: a review of the literature. J Androl. 2012 May-Jun;33(3):350-6. doi: 10.2164/jandrol.111.014373. Epub 2011 Jul 28.