Study Linking Night Shift Work to Breast Cancer

Yet another study links night shift work to breast cancer
Now Danish researchers have looked at larks and owls and their cancer risk from night shift work.
Larks, who like to get up and get on with it in the morning, are particularly susceptible to breast cancer if they undertake night shift work. In fact they are four times more likely to develop it than Owls who are normally happy to stay up late. However, even night-working Owls have twice the breast cancer rates of those who don’t work at night. 
Dr. Johnni Hansen, of the Institute of Cancer Epidemiology, in Copenhagen, Denmark led the research (journal Occupational and Environmental Health) and recorded that disruption to the body clock and the resulting changes in levels of the ’darkness’ hormone melatonin, might be responsible. Sleep deprivation damages melatonin production. The study used the medical records of 18,500 women in the Danish Army between 1964 and 1999.
(Chris Woollams, founder of CANCERactive and former Oxford University Biochemist commented: "We have been bringing you research on this subject for over a decade. From previous studies with long-haul air hostesses developing more breast cancer to those with blind women who develop none. Melatonin comes up time and time again, and it would appear that there is a very good case for people on night shift work to take melatonin supplements. It may not just be working at night that is the problem; it could be sleeping during the light hours. Again, we have covered research on this too. I know two professors who work in the field of breast cancer and who take 3 mg of melatonin a night, before they go to bed. But ordinary mortals cannot buy the hormone in Europe - It is widely sold in countries like the USA. Melatonin has been shown to help prevent and treat cancer. It is particularly useful with chemo and radiotherapy, reducing side-effects and increasing survival".) 
Go to: Quick Facts on Melatonin and cancer.
April - June Cancer Watch 2012
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