Women with hereditary breast cancer predispositions should avoid using their smartphones, tablets and laptops at night

Document Type: Editorial

Authors

1 School of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

2 Department of Diagnostic Imaging, Fox Chase Cancer Center, 333 Cottman Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19111, USA

Abstract

Breast cancer is the most common malignancy among women, both in the developed and developing countries. Women with mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes have an increased risk of breast and ovarian cancers. Recent studies show that short-wavelength visible light disturb the secretion of melatonin and causes circadian rhythm disruption. We have previously studied the health effects of exposure to different levels of radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMFs) such as mobile phones, mobile base stations, mobile phone jammers, laptop computers, and radars. Moreover, over the past several years, we investigated the health effects of exposure to the short wavelength visible light in the blue region emitted from digital screens. The reduction of melatonin secretion after exposure to blue light emitted from smartphone’s screen has been reported to be associated with the negative impact of smartphone use at night on sleep. We have shown that both the blue light and RF-EMFs generated by mobile phones are linked to the disruption of the circadian rhythm in people who use their phones at night. Therefore, if women with hereditary breast cancer predispositions use their smartphones, tablets and laptops at night, disrupted circadian rhythms (suppression of melatonin caused by exposure to blue light emitted from the digital screens), amplifies the risk of breast cancer. It can be concluded that women who carry mutated BRCA1 or BRCA2, or women with family history of breast cancer should avoid using their smartphones, tablets and laptops at night. Using sunglasses with amber lenses, or smartphone applications which decrease the users’ exposure to blue light before sleep, at least to some extent, can decrease the risk of circadian rhythm disruption and breast cancer.

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