As mobile phones now have become an integral part of our lives, wide research has been going on its effects on health. The teens and young adults (TYA) are the major users of the mobile phones. Cancer experts from all over the country threw a light on this correlation in 6 National Conference of the Teenage and Young Adult Cancers (TYACON 2017) organised at Tata Memorial Hospital (TMH), in Mumbai on Saturday.
‘Can mobile phones cause brain tumour?’ In the panel discussion on data of cancer patients in Indian TYA, this question was asked. Dr Vani Santosh, Officer in-charge Neuro-Oncology Lab in National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), explained implications of the various researches done on the correlation of mobile phones and brain tumour. “It is not clear that whether mobile can cause brain tumour or not. But, there are some researches which show that the excessive use of mobile phone can take 2nd stage cancer to 3rd stage,” she said.
Dr Rakesh Jalali, Professor and Radiation Oncologist, TMH, said, “We can’t do without phone and especially, TYA group is more dependent on this gadget. Nowadays, mobile companies manufacture phones with less radiation. Still, there are certain dos and don’ts to be followed while using mobile phones.”
Dr Jalali also listed certain precautions to be taken while using mobile phones, such as:
- Don’t use mobile phone for more than 5-6 hours in a day.
- Don’t use phone when the signal is weak.
- Don’t use phone when the area surrounding the ears is wet.
- Don’t put the phone on the same ear for too long. Use both the ears alternately.
TYACON 2017 was organised to discuss the concerns and fears of young adult patients, their caregivers, the young adult survivors and the youth of the society, about the current treatment and further treatment options.
Highlighting the need of special attention to the TYA group, Dr Shripad Banavali, Prof. and Head, Dept. of Medical & Pediatric Oncology, TMH, said, “Teens and young adults with a diagnosis of cancer, face unique challenges related to physical and cognitive development. They also face trouble with identity, body image, autonomy, education and employment. That’s where we need to pay special attention to the needs of the cancer patients of this group.”
Dr Ashish Gulia, Orthopedic Oncologist TMH, emphasised on the need of special counselling for the TYA cancer patients. “These patients have different needs and we should pay attention to them. For example, some of them want to get married, but have a question in mind about the fertility as chemotherapy can affect fertility. So, they have this question in mind. Such issues highlight that this group of cancer patients need special counselling,” added Dr Gulia.