SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Cancer survivors are speaking out as they await the outcome of several lawsuits concerning radiation and cell phones.
Courtney Kelley, a young mother who has beaten back breast cancer twice, said she used to keep her phone tucked into her bra – but not anymore.
“I use headphones when I talk, or speaker phone,” said Kelley. “I don’t sleep with my cell phone near me. I never put my cell phone in a pocket or in my bra. I’m even uncomfortable with it in my purse next to my body, I try to keep it far away.”
The cellular industry insists its products are safe, although a 2018 study by the National Toxicology Program concluded cell-phone radiation causes brain tumors in rats.
Orange County surgeon Dr. John West, who wrote a book on breast cancer called “Prevent, Survive, Thrive,” said he’s seen multiple patients — with no family history or genetic predisposition — develop tumors near where they usually kept their phone.
55-year-old Cally Pivano had a fast-growing, softball-sized tumor removed from her left leg. Now, it has metastasized to her lungs, back, right leg and her heart. A doctor told her it might have been caused by exposure to radiation.
“And then I had an epiphany,” said Pivano. “My laptop! I put that on my left leg, almost every day, for hours. And then, when I searched for the owner’s manual for my laptop, there it was in black and white: ‘Must be kept a minimum of eight inches away from your body.'”
And 49-year-old Paul Griffiths, a father of two from San Jose, is fighting a brain tumor above the ear where he said he used to squeeze his phone while taking notes on work calls.
“First thing I thought of is, ‘I bet you this thing is right above my ear on my right side,’ where I always feared,” said Griffiths. “And lo and behold, that’s exactly where it was.”