Physicians News Network, 15 September 2013
Dr. John West, a breast cancer surgeon at Breastlink in Orange County, recently traveled to New York City to film an upcoming episode with Dr. Oz’s TV show.
The episode focuses on suspected cell phone-related breast cancer in young women.
Dr. West, who is also the co-founder of the Be Aware Foundation, which funds clinical research through a partnership with Breastlink, said the Dr. Oz show contacted him after linking him to Tiffany Frantz.
The young woman drew wide media attention after being diagnosed with breast cancer in the area where she’s been storing her call phone inside her bra.
“We don’t have any scientific proof that cell phones cause cancer,” Dr. West told PNN last week. “It could be coincidence that women develop an unusual cancer right there on the breast, or this could be the tip of the iceberg.”
Today about 40% of college women keep their cell phones inside the bra.
Dr. West, who had corresponded with Frantz and reviewed her radiology and pathology test results, said for him this raises concern to keep cell phones away from the skin of the body.
He noted that even cell phone manufacturers suggest to users to keep the phone at least one-half inch or more away from any body part.
But most of all, he said, he’s pleased that Dr. Oz will help create awareness among doctors, young women and the public about this critical issue.
“Dr. Oz asks good questions, and he will become a major advocate to get the word out about this issue. He wants to make the bra a ‘no-cell zone,’” Dr. West said.
The TV episode was filmed on Aug. 21. Dr. West couldn’t provide a date when the show will air on television.
He said the intention is not to create panic over cell phone use—with millions of TV viewers tuning out—but rather, to draw attention.
“This is not a time for panic,” he said. “Be alert and follow some simple guidelines. This will put pressure on the scientific community to put more energy toward determining if this is safe. The old standards don’t apply. We need an update on safety guidelines.”
He also hopes that more women will go to his website at www.beawarefoundation.org to read up about self-examination of the breast.
The Be Aware Foundation centers are dedicated to providing the full continuum of care for individuals with breast cancer. The centers are located in Southern California, including Hawthorne, Orange County, Encino and Rancho Mirage.
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