March 27 2018 01:30 PM

Wearing your cellphone might cause breast cancer.

I was sitting in the doctor’s office — something I did way too much these past couple months — reading a magazine. A story about preventing cancer caught my eye.

In a section of the October 2017 issue of Real Simple, I found a story that discussed cellphone use and cancer.

The statement read, “And if you store your phone in a T-shirt pocket or bra, break the habit, advises Marisa Weiss, MD, founder and chief medical officer of Breastcancer.org. ‘Even if you’re not using it, the antenna is still active, and breast tissue is highly sensitive,’ she explains.”

The statement made me stop and think. I don’t keep my cellphone inside my bra, but I did keep it clipped to my bra strap.

I usually take health advice with a grain of salt — especially advice that comes from magazines and not my doctor. But I couldn’t shake the idea that wearing my phone on my chest might be increasing my risk of breast cancer.

I consulted another resource. The American Cancer Society states that the link between cancer and the radio-frequency waves from cellphones is unknown, but mostly because not enough research has been done.

Well, I decided I wasn’t going to wait around for research to prove or disprove a connection between cellphone wearing and breast cancer.

I stopped clipping my phone to my bra.

Now, when I’m milking, I leave my phone in the milk house or stick it inside my towel pouch. When I’m doing other chores, I’ll tuck it in the back pocket of my jeans or, again, just leave it in the milk house.

Perhaps I’m being a little paranoid in making this decision, but I’ve found another reason to never clip my phone to my bra again: Less digital distraction.

I can’t hear my phone when it’s in my towel pouch, back pocket, or the milk house cupboard. That means phone calls, text messages, and emails no longer interrupt my work. The result is wonderfully freeing. Who knows, less distraction-induced stress might help prevent cancer, too.

I wasn’t going to publish this piece until Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October. But this month my grandmother would have celebrated her 93rd birthday. Instead, she celebrated her 35th birthday in heaven. Breast cancer claimed her life when she was 57. In her honor, I’m sharing this story now.

Maybe saving your own life is worth carrying your phone somewhere else.


Sadie Frericks

The author is a dairy farmer and writer from central Minnesota. She farms with her husband, Glen, and their three children. Sadie grew up on a dairy farm in northern Minnesota and graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in agricultural communications and marketing. She also blogs at Dairy Good Life.