Cell phones and breast cancer

People should read this. I see Muslim women tuck their cellphones into their head scarves against their faces all the time and wonder how that will turn out:

Breast cancer occurring in women under the age of 40 is uncommon in the absence of family history or genetic predisposition, and prompts the exploration of other possible exposures or environmental risks. We report a case series of four young women—ages from 21 to 39—with multifocal invasive breast cancer that raises the concern of a possible association with nonionizing radiation of electromagnetic field exposures from cellular phones. All patients regularly carried their smartphones directly against their breasts in their brassieres for up to 10 hours a day, for several years, and developed tumors in areas of their breasts immediately underlying the phones. All patients had no family history of breast cancer, tested negative for BRCA1 and BRCA2, and had no other known breast cancer risks. Their breast imaging is reviewed, showing clustering of multiple tumor foci in the breast directly under the area of phone contact. Pathology of all four cases shows striking similarity; all tumors are hormone-positive, low-intermediate grade, having an extensive intraductal component, and all tumors have near identical morphology. These cases raise awareness to the lack of safety data of prolonged direct contact with cellular phones.

2 thoughts on “Cell phones and breast cancer

  1. This is what bothers me about the safety studies on cell phone electromagnetic emissions. There’s no attempt to consider difference in individual genetic susceptibility or to consider variation in susceptibility of different tissues.

    They do studies on hundreds or a few thousand people — usually fairly short term, as in months, even though cancer takes years to manifest — find no statistically significant problems, and declare it safe. Also remember that in medicine, 95% is the level for significance. So if less than one in twenty people shows some kind of symptoms, that’s not enough to show up as a result.

    Then we get to go off and do a huge field experiment on millions of people for many years, and, sometimes problems show up. When they do, the attitude seems to be “That can’t be right. It’s been studied and found safe.”

    The scientific attitude would be to reexamine the issue based on new evidence. Instead, science, as in Science, is hauled in to ignore the evidence.

    Sometimes I just want to scream.

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