Doctors look closer at where you store your cell phone and its link to cancer
Cape Coral, Fla. - We talk, text even surf the web on them but do you ever think about where you store your cell phone and it's impact on your health?
"I used to put it in my pocket if I have any pockets or in my bag so always, it's close to me, always", said Olga from Fort Myers.
Same goes for nursing student Sheneka Brown who said she keeps her cell phone close by for convenience.
"Sometimes my bra, my back pocket, wherever I can," said Brown. "I don't always have my purse on me. Sometimes I run out of the house and I don't have it so i just put it wherever."
Olga also admits to putting her phone in her bra but where you put it, especially in your bra, could be a little too close for comfort according to some doctors.
"There's a lot of questions regarding whether or not there's association of cell phone usage with cancer, specifically in the past a lot of issues with brain tumors and now about breast cancer as well," said Dr. Rie Aihara, breast cancer surgeon at Regional Breast Care in Fort Myers.
According to Dr. Aihara, cell phone usage has tripled over the past decade.
She says there are a lot of factors contributing to the increased number of breast cancer cases. With today's technology always changing it's hard to keep track if putting your cell phone near your breast is harmful or not.
"I think it's really important when someone young comes in we question about if they do that and unless we ask and unless there's voluntary information we really don't know what the cause and effects are," adds Dr. Aihara.
Many cell phones come with an advisory in the settings tab to keep the phone ten millimeters away from your body.
The phone notice says it has been tested and meets applicable limits for radio frequency exposure but for younger women still developing Dr. Aihara says more research needs to be done. Along with looking into how much time we're spending on the phone.
"What cell phones do is they emit something called a radio frequency energy which is a type of non-ionizing radiation. "Basically if you have it near your body certainly that body part can absorb that radiation and it's really the antenna part that is crucial," said Dr. Aihara.
She notes, "It doesn't cause DNA damage perse but it certainly can heat up the body tissue right next to that area."
Sheneka Brown said she heard of this before.
"I guess I just don't pay attention because I still place it in my bra when I'm jogging," said Brown.
She and Olga said now she'll think twice after hearing what it could possibly do to their body.
Dr. Aihara tells us a study is currently underway looking at cell phone usage over the years and it's link to a variety of diseases.
Those results are expected to be examined in the next 20 to 30 years so it may be some time before we know of a direct impact of cell phones and breast cancer.
In the meantime, she recommends using hands-free devices and keeping your cell phone away from your skin.