Use of mobile phones and possible risk of ear cancer – Punekar News

By Prof. Dr. Raj Nagarkar, MD and Head of Surgical Oncology and Robotics Services, HCG Manavata Cancer Centers, Nasik

Pune, June 9, 2022: Mobile phones are an integral part of our daily lives. We end up spending hours on our phones without realizing the harm it does to us. The human body absorbs energy from the devices, which leads to various health risks, which can also include brain and skin cancer.

Although we know a lot about other types of cancer, many have probably never heard of ear cancer. Ear cancer often begins with skin cancer in the outer ear and spreads to various other structures in the ear.

Ear cancer can affect both the inside and the outside of the ear. It usually starts with skin cancer in the outer ear or ear canal, but it can also develop in the eardrum, temporal bone, ossicles, mastoid, facial nerve, and organs of the inner ear for hearing and balance. It encompasses several types of ear cancer, including:

Basal cell carcinoma
Adenoid cystic carcinoma
Squamous cell carcinoma

Ear cancer symptoms vary depending on which part of the ear is affected. It is crucial to understand some of the symptoms of ear cancer in various parts of the ear.

a. The Outer Ear – The earlobe, also called the auricle, and the outer entrance to the ear canal are all part of the outer ear. Signs on the outer ear include flaky skin despite hydration, white bumps under the skin, and bleeding skin ulcers.

b. Ear canal – The ear canal is a tube that runs from the outer ear to the eardrum. Some of the signs in the ear canal include a lump in or near the entrance to the ear canal, ear discharge, and hearing loss.

vs. Middle ear – The middle ear consists of three small bones – the malleus (hammer), incus (incus), and stirrup (stirrup). Signs of ear cancer in the middle ear include bloody discharge from the ear, ear pain, and hearing loss.

D. Inner Ear – The inner ear is made up of three main parts: the cochlea, the semicircular canals, and signs of ear cancer in the inner ear including ear pain, dizziness, loss hearing, headaches.

Ear cancer is often misdiagnosed as an ear infection. If an ear infection has been diagnosed but the patient has persistent discharge from the ear or suspects a malignancy, it is advisable to get a second opinion.


Certain reasons can increase the risk of developing ear cancer. Spending more hours in the sun without applying sunscreen puts you at high risk of developing skin cancer and can lead to ear cancer. Inflammatory responses associated with ear infections can influence cellular changes that can also lead to cancer.

Cell phones and cancer

Mobile phones emit radiation in the form of radio frequency radiation or radio waves and they are widely used. Given the number of people who use cell phones, even a minor increase in cancer risk is cause for concern. Ionizing radiation, a higher energy form of radiation emitted by cell phones, has caused some brain and central nervous system cancers. Many types of studies have been conducted to determine whether cell phone use is harmful to human health. The radiation emitted by the mobile phone also causes various types of skin cancer.

Tips for safer use of mobile devices

1. Limit your time on the phone because long term exposure to high power RF signals could damage our brain cells, skin and ears.

2. Use the speakerphone, headset or hands-free device instead of holding the phone to your head as they reduce the risk of electromagnetic radiation to brain cells.

3. Look for a cell phone with a lower SAR or specific absorption rate. A lower SAR value may mean that the phone emits less radiation. Keep in mind that SAR is based on the phone running at its highest power. It might not reflect how you actually use your phone.

4. Avoid calls to places with poor signal reception as mobile devices increase transmission power if signal reception is poor.

5. Keep your phone away from your head while you sleep


Tissue outside or in the middle ear where any suspicious growth is seen is sent to a lab to look for cancerous cells. This is called a biopsy. Depending on the location of the affected area, a biopsy may be performed under local or general anesthesia so that no pain is felt during the procedure.

Cancerous growths in the inner ear can be harder to reach. This makes it more difficult to perform a biopsy without damaging surrounding tissue. To determine if cancer is present, imaging tests such as an MRI or CT scan are of great help.


Treatment is usually determined by the size and location of the cancerous growth. Surgery is the most common treatment for ear cancer. Depending on the severity and location of the cancer, different types of surgeries are used. Skin cancers outside the ear are usually surgically removed. If large areas are removed, reconstructive surgery may be required. Cancers of the ear canal or the temporal bone require surgery followed by radiotherapy. The extent of the tumor determines the amount of ear to be removed. The ear canal, bone and eardrum must be removed in some cases. The doctor may be able to reconstruct the ear depending on the amount removed. Hearing is not significantly affected in some cases. If so, the use of a hearing aid may be required.

Practicing sun safety, such as using sunscreen, staying in the shade and avoiding tanning beds while spending a minimum of hours on the phone can reduce the risk of skin cancer, which can progress to skin cancer. the ear. In case of unwanted symptoms, consulting a doctor is always a good choice.

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