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CORRECTED 2:30pm MST 11/25 - Linda Thomas-Greenfield would be the second Black woman in US UN Ambassador role, Susan Rice was the first. Biden nominees speak; how can social media spread less misinformation and be less polarizing. *2020Talks will not be released 11/26 & 11/27*

Cancer Survivors Await Outcome of Cell-Phone Warnings Lawsuit

Courtney Kelley has successfully fought breast cancer twice, near where she says she used to carry her cell phone. (Courtney Kelley)
Courtney Kelley has successfully fought breast cancer twice, near where she says she used to carry her cell phone. (Courtney Kelley)
August 21, 2020

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Cancer survivors are speaking out as they await the outcome of several lawsuits concerning radiation and cell phones.

The suits challenge the Federal Communication Commission's radiation guidelines, the radio-frequency or 'RF' levels from cell phones, and safety notices required by the City of Berkeley.

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."

Suzanne Potter, Public News Service - CA