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Pathophysiology. 2010 Jun;17(3):157-60. doi: 10.1016/j.pathophys.2009.07.001. Epub 2009 Aug 3.

Sleep on the right side-Get cancer on the left?

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Hallberg Independent Research(1), Polkavägen 14B, 142 65 Trångsund, Sweden.


Breast cancer frequently occurs in the left breast among both women and men [R. Roychoudhuri, V. Putcha, H. Møller, Cancer and laterality: a study of the five major paired organs (UK), Cancer Causes Control 17 (2006) 655-662; M.T. Goodman, K.H. Tung, L.R. Wilkens, Comparative epidemiology of breast cancer among men and women in the US, 1996 to 2000, Cancer Causes Control 17 (2006) 127-136; C.I. Perkins, J. Hotes, B.A. Kohler, H.L. Howe, Association between breast cancer laterality and tumor location, United States, 1994-1998, Cancer Causes Control 15 (2004) 637-645; H.A. Weiss, S.S. Devesa, L.A. Brinton, Laterality of breast cancer in the United States, Cancer Causes Control 7 (1996) 539-543; A. Ekbom, H.O. Adami, D. Trichopoulos, M. Lambe, C.C. Hsieh, J. Pontén, Epidemiologic correlates of breast cancer laterality (Sweden), Cancer Causes Control 5 (1994) 510-516]. Moreover, recent results showed that the left side of the body is more prone to melanoma than the right side [D.H. Brewster, M.J. Horner, S. Rowan, P. Jelfs, E. de Vries, E. Pukkala, Left-sided excess of invasive cutaneous melanoma in six countries, Eur. J. Cancer 43 (2007) 2634-2637]. Current explanations for left-sided breast cancer include handedness [L. Titus-Ernstoff, P.A. Newcomb, K.M. Egan, et al., Left-handedness in relation to breast cancer risk in postmenopausal women, Epidemiology 11 (2000) 181-184; M.A. Kramer, S. Albrecht, R.A. Miller, Handedness and the laterality of breast cancer in women, Nurs. Res. 34 (1985) 333-337; M.K. Ramadhani, S.G. Elias, P.A. van Noord, D.E. Grobbee, P.H. Peeters, C.S. Uiterwaal, Innate left handedness and risk of breast cancer: case-cohort study, BMJ 331 (2005) 882-883], size difference, nursing preference, and brain structure. However, men are affected even more by left laterality than women, thus many of these explanations are unconvincing. Increasing rates of skin melanoma have been associated with immune-disruptive radiation from FM/TV transmitters [O. Hallberg, A theory and model to explain the skin melanoma epidemic, Melanoma Res. 16 (2006) 115-118; O. Hallberg, A reduced repair efficiency can explain increasing melanoma rates, Eur. J. Cancer Prev. 17 (2008) 147-152; O. Hallberg, O. Johansson, Melanoma incidence and frequency modulation (FM) broadcasting, Arch. Environ. Health 57 (2002) 32-40; O. Hallberg, O. Johansson, FM broadcasting exposure time and malignant melanoma incidence, Electromagn. Biol. Med. 24 (2005) 1-8; O. Hallberg, Radio TV towers linked to increased risk of melanoma, Report, available at:, 2007 (accessed 2007)]. Geographical areas covered by several transmitters show higher incidences of melanoma than areas covered by one transmitter. Here we show that a high prevalence of breast cancer and melanoma on the left side of the body may be a logical consequence of sleeping in beds having mattresses containing wave-reflecting metal springs. We found that people tend to sleep for longer periods on their right side, apparently to avoid disturbance by the heartbeat. This puts the left side farther away from the field-attenuating influence of the metal springs in the mattress; thus the left side will spend, on average, more time exposed to stronger combined fields from incident and reflected waves. This hypothesis may also explain why body parts farthest away from the mattress (trunk and upper arms for men; lower limbs and hips for women) have higher melanoma rates than the sun-exposed face area. The implications of this study should promote a critical consideration of population exposure to electromagnetic fields, especially during the night.

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