8 Ways To Reduce Your Risk of Cancer From Cell Phones

When I heard from the Associated Press that the World Health Organization just released this statement announcing that cell phones may indeed be carcinogenic, I felt my breath catch in my throat as I put my cell phone down.

As I wrote in this post, cancer has been plaguing way too many friends and family members lately. The rise in the cancer rate seems out of proportion, and so many people I know have been asking, “Why is this happening?” I shake my head – pesticides, maybe? Chemicals in our water? Plastic? Hormones in our milk? Radiation from the air and medical tests?

Nobody knows for sure, but my mother swears that she never had three friends simultaneously battling late stage cancer in their forties when she was my age.

So what’s the deal with cell phones?
Well, rumors have been spreading that things like microwaves and cell phones may cause cancer for years now. But proof has been slow to trickle in. Last year, a big study failed to establish a link between cell phones and cancer, but it hinted towards a possible connection between very heavy cell phone use and glioma, a rare but often deadly form of brain tumor. The study wasn’t big enough to confirm such a link, however.

In about 30 other studies, patients with brain tumors did not report using their cell phones more than those without brain tumors.

Last May, the National Cancer Institute released this statement, which concluded that “Research studies have not shown a consistent link between cell phone use and cancer.” But today, the WHO concluded, after reviewing dozens of published studies and meeting in Lyon, France for a week of discussion with experts, that cell phones may be carcinogenic.

The WHO statement says:

The evidence was reviewed critically, and overall evaluated as being limited to among users of wireless telephones for glioma and acoustic neuroma, and inadequate to draw conclusions for other types of cancers. The evidence from the occupational and environmental exposures mentioned above was similarly judged inadequate. The Working Group did not quantitate the risk; however, one study of past cell phone use (up to the year 2004), showed a 40% increased risk for gliomas in the highest category of heavy users (reported average: 30 minutes per day over a 10‐year period).

Dr Jonathan Samet (University of Southern California, USA), overall Chairman of the Working Group, indicated that “the evidence, while still accumulating, is strong enough to support a conclusion and the 2B classification. The conclusion means that there could be some risk, and therefore we need to keep a close watch for a link between cell phones and cancer risk.

Then in another part of the statement, the WHO says:

It is understandable that people are concerned about mobile phones, especially because they are so widely used. But so far, the published studies do not show that mobile phones could increase the risk of cancer.  This conclusion is backed up by the lack of a solid biological mechanism, and the fact that brain cancer rates are not going up significantly.

However, all of the studies so far have weaknesses, which make it impossible to entirely rule out a risk. Mobile phones are still a new technology and there is little evidence about effects of long-term use.

So what does all this mumbo jumbo mean? Well, the team of experts found enough evidence to categorize personal exposure as “possibly carcinogenic to humans.” The WHO gave cell phones a “2B” classification, meaning they are possibly carcinogenic in humans in line with other 2B substances like the pesticide DDT, chloroform, and gasoline engine exhaust. But where did that come from? To be honest, it baffles me. If there’s not sufficient data, why are we blasting headlines all over the place about how cell phones cause cancer- when we still aren’t sure they do? Frankly, I don’t get it.

So How Are Cell Phones Carcinogenic?

Cell phones signal nearby towers via radio frequency waves, a type of energy similar to microwaves and radio waves. But this is not Hiroshima radiation we’re talking about here.  The non-ionizing radiation produced by cell phones does not directly damage DNA like ionizing radiation caused by nuclear radiation, X-rays, or ultraviolet light. At very high levels, however, radio frequency waves from cell phones can heat up your body tissue, and this may cause some risk.

So What Does This Mean For You?

First, don’t panic. The data supporting cell phone use as carcinogenic is extremely limited- nearly nonexistent, in fact. Based on my own review of the data, I’m shocked that an organization like the WHO made this leap.

But as a doctor who lost both her cell-phone loving father and mother-in-law to brain cancer, I’m definitely listening though. My father was one of those nerdy “Go-Go Gadget” guys who had to be the first to have every newfangled invention on the market. We had a microwave oven the size of a cow and he had one of those car phones that takes up the whole center console.

And of course, Dad had a cell phone before anybody had a cell phone. So he fits the profile.

Tap Into Your Intuition

As with any health care concern, make sure you tap into the wisdom of your Inner Pilot Light, the wisdom of your inner healer, when you consider whether this will affect how much time you spend on your cell phone. Ask your Inner Pilot Light whether your cell phone use is putting you in danger, and if the answer is yes, listen up.

The WHO intends to give guidelines, which have not yet been released, but until we hear more, here are some things you can do to reduce your risk if you’re worried. Otherwise, chill out, keep on chatting, and don’t let headline hype confuse you.

8 Tips for Reducing Your Risk of Cancer from Cell Phone Risk

  • Keep your cell phone away from your body while it’s on (this includes sticking it in your pocket, guys!) The Apple iPhone 4 safety manual reads, “When using iPhone near your body for voice calls or for wireless data transmission over a cellular network, keep iPhone at least 15 mm (5/8 inch) away from the body.”
  • Limit the direct use (phone to ear) of your cell phone to less than 30 minutes per day
  • Wear a headset, which increases the space between the radiation emitted by your cell phone and your head
  • Implement the use of a EMF protection device
  • Limit the use of cell phones with children. Cancer Research U.K. recommends that children under 16 use cell phones only for essential calls because their brains and nervous systems are still developing.
  • Take antioxidants like glutathione, CoQ10 (non-ionizing radiation may decrease levels of anti-oxidants in the body).
  • Take Gingko Biloba, which may prevent oxidative damage in the brain, eye and kidney and helps the body make its own antioxidants.
  • Drink green juice. It strengthens your immune system and helps you fight the cancer cells your body makes every day.

It’s sad that our technology-driven culture seems to be bad for our health, and it’s a lesson to remember that, the closer we return to our natural state of living, the safer we are and the longer we may live.  How do we marry that with our desire to take advantage of what technology has to offer? Once again, tap into that Inner Pilot Light (sign up here to receive daily messages from your Inner Pilot Light).

So don’t worry. Have faith that you and your loved ones will stay healthy. But be educated and mindful about ways you can reduce your risk.

What do you think about all this? Are you freaked out? Chillaxin’ about the whole thing? Ready to turn in your iPhone? Unconcerned? Tell me what you think!

Turning off my iPhone for today…


Lissa Rankin, MD: Founder of OwningPink.comPink Medicine Woman coach, motivational speaker, and author of What’s Up Down There? Questions You’d Only Ask Your Gynecologist If She Was Your Best Friend and Encaustic Art: The Complete Guide To Creating Fine Art With Wax.

Learn more about Lissa Rankin here.


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Robert Taylor
Robbie Taylor4 years ago


Nefertmu I.
Nefertmu I.4 years ago

According to a recent newsletter from my family physician: "Additional health issues besides cancer to consider includes diabetes, obesity, cognitive and behavioral issues, palpitations/cardiac arrhythmias, pacemaker dysfunction, sleep issues, gastrointestinal disturbances, hormonal disruption, DNA damage, sperm defects with infertility, osteopenia and numerous other chronic inflammatory diseases including increased incidence of Alzheimer's and autism."
Dr. Dan Harper (an MD and a homeopath) told a group of us on a call about a patient of his that was promoted and moved to the top floor where there was a lot of wireless technology. Weeks later he was found in the fetal position unable to move, feed himself, or go to the bathroom on his own. He was diagnosed as Catatonic Schizophrenic. He was committed to an institution but when his mother decided she wanted him in the home, she brought him to see Dr. Dan. Dr. Dan diagnosed him as electrosensitive and gave him some iH2O and had him get some emf protection. Within a few weeks, he was driving again and balancing his checkbook.
Here is a link to my friend Stacey's website where you can get chips for your cell phone and other devices: www.giawellness.com/restoredlife
The ones called "cell chips" are not good enough for a cell phone, you will actually need a "universal guard" for a cell phone. The ones that they used to make when they were called "BioPro" were good enough, but the company has left BioPro and is making different

Concerned Citizen

I always knew that cell phones were bad...What about texting?? :)

Annemarie W.
Annemarie L.4 years ago

Oh dear... Just one more thing to worry about.

Petra Luna
Petra Luna4 years ago

I, amongst others, only have a cell phone, and practically live on it. But maybe we need to start talking more in person with one another.

Patricia G.
Patricia G.4 years ago

Thanks. Mobile phones are one of the great inventions of modern age... Let's be safe and follow the guidelines.

Tana Martin
Tana D.4 years ago

I rarely talk on the phone. But I do use the internet, apps, and texting, though still not nearly as much as most people do. These are some pretty good tips. Unfortunately, the one about children won't be heeded. I've seen kids still in elementary school that have phones. Heck, some in middle school have smartphones! I couldn't imagine paying that much money for my child's phone.

Ingrid D.4 years ago

More to read - from The Arizona Center for Advanced Medicine:

"The first to raise the issue were researchers Dr. Olle Johansson and colleague Örjan Hallberg at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden. They found a strong association between the increase in certain cancers during the 20th Century and exposure to electromagnetic fields as measured by radio and TV broadcasts. They reported that there is a common environmental stress that accelerates several forms of cancer – colon cancer, lung cancer, breast cancer, bladder cancer, and melanoma. They site the introduction of AM radio (1920s), radar (1940s), FM radio and TV (1950s), computers (1970s), mobile phones (1980s), and wireless technologies and compact fluorescent lighting (2000s), and conclude that artificially created EMR is the most likely environmental stress to account for the rise in cancers.[16,17,18]"

Ingrid D.4 years ago

It is not the public's fault that they love their toys as indeed they are a great invention. What we are not being told is that at the same time they affect our health, more so than any other habits now banned like smoking because there is no longer a place to hide from pulsed magnetic field affecting human, animal, insect and plant life ( see www.bemri.org). We must understand that all wireless communication: cordless Dect phones, wifi, baby monitors, play stations, smart meters and mobile phones are radiating pulsed microwaves at a frequency which is alien and destructive to our own biological rhythms. Once you understand this, look what has happened behind the scenes of the WHO decision and which party objected to a declared health risk:
The decision to designate cell phone radiation a
"possible human carcinogen" was close to unanimous
--there were only two holdouts. One was from the
the U.S. National Cancer Institute.

Read all the details at:

This leads me to another question. WHY do governments and the cancer research industry not jump for joy that another form of wirless technology with possibly far less health effects is possible: VLC. ?? Inform yourselves and ask questions! We could be having a much faster, greener and less bio-active communication tool powered by LIGHT.

dawn w.
Dawn W.4 years ago

Why are people so addicted to their cellphones anyway?I rarely use mine.It's just not necessary.Whatever did people do before cellphones,in the old days?(I'm not an old lady,I'm 31.)I find my cell to be more a pain than a help.