Can a mobile phone cause cancer?
In a US TV news report about Tiffany’s case, breast surgeon Lisa Bailey told KTVU, “I’d never wear a cell phone immediately next to my body and I’d advise all women not to do that.”
Adding that mobile phones should be kept away from the skin, breast cancer surgeon Dr John West says, “It might avoid a mastectomy and chemotherapy. It’s easy to do, so why take a chance?”
But while it might be sensible to take these kinds of precautions just in case, the jury is still very much out in the medical community when it comes to linking mobile phone use with cancer.
Dr Salim Chaib Rassou, radiologist and chief oncologist at the American Hospital in Dubai, says that although a link is unlikely, it isn’t a risk that can be completely ruled out. “In 2011, the International Agency for Research on Cancer classified mobile phones as ‘group 2B’ in its gold-standard rating system, which means that they could ‘possibly’ cause cancer in humans.
“I haven’t come across a breast cancer patient who linked the disease to their mobile phone use, but I have treated brain tumour patients who have confessed to overusing mobile phones.
“There are controversial scientific reports regarding brain tumours and excessive use of mobile phones, but of course, this kind of tumour doesn’t affect all phone users.
“It’s advisable to avoid spending a long time talking on the phone and to use wireless devices such as Bluetooth headsets.”
Dr JM Gauer, chief executive officer of RAK hospital, says, “We try to reassure patients by referring them to studies such as The Million Women Study, done by Cancer Research UK and the National Health Service. This involved 790,000 individuals and found no link between the use and positioning of mobile phones and several types of cancer, including brain and breast.”