Working the Night Shift Could Raise Your Cancer Risk

If you are working the night shift then maybe you need to watch your health. Research has proven that night shifts are linked to a number of health issues.

In China researchers discovered that women who work the night shift have a 19% increased risk of developing cancer compared to women do not work at night.

They found that women who worked night shifts for longer periods of time had a 41% higher risk of skin cancer, 32% higher risk of breast cancer and an 18% greater risk of digestive system cancers. This was compared to women who did not work night shifts.

Some of the factors that seem to prove these findings include disruptions to hormone levels. Levels of melatonin, for example, which generally rise at night in response to darkness, are suppressed when people remain awake under artificial light. Melatonin is an antioxidant that inhibits cancer cells and also suppresses new blood vessel growth associated with tumors.

Disrupting the normal sleep-wake cycle can also affect genes responsible for repairing DNA, which could lead to more abnormally growing cells that become cancerous.

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