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Do adverse health trends correlate with the research into Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR)?
Chapter 2 Part c – Breast and Prostate Cancer

Sarah Benson - 18/09/09

Breast cancer

According to the Australian Bureau of statistics, breast cancer was the most commonly diagnosed new cancer in women in 2001, with prostate cancer in men the most common. [i]

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare Cancer Monitoring Unit said that the number of women diagnosed with breast cancer has more than doubled in the past 20 years - increasing from 5,318 women in 1983 to 12,027 women in 2002.[ii]

In America, the Federal Centre for Disease Control in the US has said that cancer is the leading cause of premature loss of life among American women - and that breast cancer was the leader in that category.

According to the Breast Cancer Fund's "State of the Evidence" report, approximately half of all breast cancers are caused by environmental factors, including radiation. [iii]

This is directly connected to the role of melatonin in the body, which has been shown to have anti-cancer properties. For example, adding melatonin to cancer cells in a laboratory dish will cause them to stop growing. Placing the same dish in an electromagnetic field will cause the cells to start growing again. Research has also shown that night shift work may increase the risk of breast cancer by lowering melatonin levels. At least three studies suggest a link between night-shift work and increased risk of breast cancer.

…Over 20 studies show that both through reducing melatonin and through enhancing free radical activity, EMR is genotoxic, damaging the DNA and chromosomes, causing cells to mutate thus causing cancer in exposed populations.

Dr Neil Cherry[iv], 2001

In Brisbane, Queensland, from 1995 until 2008 17 women working night shift for ABC TV in the same room contracted breast cancer.

In July 2007 a Sydney hospital announced it was investigating a possible cancer cluster after five female staff members were diagnosed with breast cancer within six years. Management at Concord Hospital in Sydney's west revealed it launched a preliminary investigation into cancer patterns among staff. Five female workers were diagnosed with the disease between 2001 and 2006. A drop in melatonin levels has been specifically connected with increases in breast cancer.[v]

"There is sufficient evidence to classify a causal relationship between EMR and breast cancer, with melatonin reduction as the biological mechanism."

Dr Neil Cherry[vi], 2001

In 2003 Norwegian researchers reported an increased risk of breast cancer among female telegraph operators exposed to RF/EMF. Premenopausal women showed an increased risk of oestrogen-receptor-negative tumours. Premenopausal women appear to be at higher risk than postmenopausal women.

Another Norwegian study also showed a 60 percent increase in breast cancer risk in women of all ages living near high voltage power lines.[vii]

Cleary, S., et al, 1990, Glioma Proliferation Modulated in Vitro by Isothermal Radiofrequency Radiation Exposure, Radiation Research, Vol. 121, No. 1 (Jan., 1990), pp. 38-45

Male Breast Cancer

Although breast cancer is rare in men, a number of studies point to a connection between EMR exposure and male breast cancer. A recent literature review on male breast cancer also identifies exposure to EMR as a risk factor.[viii]

In 2001 three cases of male breast cancer showed up in the same office. A law suit was filed – the attorney arguing that the cancers were caused, at least in part, by an electrical substation that was next to the basement office where the men worked. He said that the odds of this happening were a trillion to one.

There is a large and coherent body of evidence of biological mechanisms that support the conclusion of a plausible, logical and causal relationship between EMR exposure and cancer, cardiac, neurological and reproductive health effects.

Dr Neil Cherry, 1999

Another recent phenomenon is the appearance of male breasts. It was reported in July 2007 that breast reduction operations on men have sky-rocketed, with approximately a 22 per cent rise over the past 12 months.

Pollan M, et al, Breast cancer, occupation, and exposure to electromagnetic fields among Swedish men. Am J Ind Med 2001, 39 (3): 276-85

Demers, et al 1991, Occupational Exposure to Electromagnetic Fields and Breast Cancer in Men, American Journal of Epidemiology Vol. 134, No. 4: 340-347

Further, there is accumulating epidemiological evidence indicating an increased brain tumour risk from long term use of mobile phones, the first RF EMF that has started to be comprehensively studied.

The Benevento Resolution, 2002[ix]

Many researchers have also found that mobile phone users reported symptoms of burning or a dull ache in temporal, occipital or auricular areas, headache, concentration problems, discomfort, memory loss, burning skin, tingling and tightness.[x] [xi] [xii]

In January 2009 France began to introduce legislation to prohibit the sale of mobile phones to children. Finland has also taken action, with the Finnish Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority recommending their use be restricted among children.

Prostate and Testicular Cancer

In 2003 prostate cancer was named by the Australian Institute for Health and Welfare (AIHW) as one of the most common cancers in Australia.

An Australian Institute for Health and Welfare report shows that rates of prostate cancer have risen 42% in the past five years, pushing up the number of prostate cancer cases by 50% to an estimated 18,700 in 2006.[xiii]

There is a large and coherent body of evidence of biological mechanisms that support the conclusion of a plausible, logical and causal relationship between EMR exposure and cancer, cardiac, neurological and reproductive health effects.

Dr Neil Cherry[xiv], 2000

Figures from Europe show a dramatic rise in the incidence of prostate cancer from 1993 to 1999. (See diagram).

Dasdag, S, Ketani, MA, Akdag, Z, Ersay, AR, Sar,i I, Demirtas ,OC, Celik, MS, 1999: Whole-body microwave exposure emitted by cellular phones and testicular function of rats. Urol Res 27(3):219-223.

[i] Australian Bureau of Statistics: Cancer in Australia: A Snapshot, 2004-05

[ii] Media Release, Australian Institute for Health and Welfare May 2006.

[iii] Breast Cancer Fund & Breast Cancer Action, San Francisco, 2006: State of the Evidence, What is the connection between the environment and breast cancer, 4th edition

[iv] Senate Inquiry 2001: Op cit. Ch. 2, 2.44.

[v] Blask, D., 2005, Melatonin-Depleted Blood from Premenopausal Women Exposed to Light at Night Stimulates Growth of Human Breast Cancer Xenografts in Nude Rats, Cancer Research 65, 11174-11184.

[vi] Ibid

[vii] Breast Cancer Fund, Op cit 2006.

[viii] Ravandi-Kashani F, Hayes T.G, 1998: Male breast cancer: a review of the literature. Elsevier: Volume 34, Number 9 , pp. 1341-

[ix] The Benevento Resolution – see Appendix A.

[x] Mild, et al, 1998, Mobile phone use and subjective symptoms. Comparison of symptoms experienced by users of analogue and digital mobile phones., Occup Med (Lond) 51(1):25-35, 2001

[xi] Hocking, B., 1998, Preliminary report: symptoms associated with mobile phone use, Occup Med (Lond);48(6):357-360

[xii] Chia et al, 2000, Prevalence of Headache among Hand-Held Cellular Telephone Users in Singapore: A Community Study, Environmental Health Perspectives Volume 108, Number 11.

[xiii] Australian Prostate Cancer Website:

[xiv] Cherry: 2000, Op cit.

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