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Warning: Working through the night doubles your breast cancer risk

by , 06 October 2014

You work to live, to feed your kids and do the things you love. But did you know it might be slowly killing you?

It's true!

Working in a stressful environment is the cause of many health ailments and illnesses like arthritis and heart disease. But the latest studies show it's not just the environment in which you work that's harming your health. It's the hours you work too!

Read on to find out how your working hours increase your risk of breast cancer…

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Working at night messes with your sleep cycle and increases your cancer risk

A study on 78,562 nurses, recorded in the Oxford Medical Journals, found a link between breast cancer risk and when you work.
The women provided information relating to how many times during the week they worked at night. After ten years and 2,800 women who developed breast cancer, they concluded that the women who worked at night more than three times a week had an increased breast cancer risk.
A newer study showed more concrete results.
Canadian researchers took information from 1,134 breast cancer victims and compared them to 1,179 women without cancer. The women gave researchers information about their job type, the hours they worked and their sleeping patterns.
They divided the women who worked at night into three further categories and found only the women who worked rotational night shift for many years had an increase in their breast cancer risk. In fact, their risk was 50% higher than the other women!
So what is it about working at night that harms your health?

When your body’s exposed to light at night it messes with your hormones and increases your cancer risk

Your body has a very balanced circadian rhythm. It’s the process that tells you it’s time to go to sleep at night and it involves the hormone melatonin.
When the sun goes down, melatonin production increases. This message, sent by your skin, indicates the day’s over and you need to rest.
But when the sun goes down and you still expose yourself to bright lights and activities, melatonin production stays low. Then, when you go to sleep after your night shift and you try sleep during the day, it messes with your natural rhythm.
Your cells become confused. They try change with the change in your cycle. Research indicates this causes your body to make more oestrogen. And this could be the link between breast cancer and night shift.
So how do you protect yourself?
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Use these ten tips to lower your breast cancer risk

While you can’t do much to completely prevent breast cancer if you’re genetically predisposed to it, you can do a lot to lower your risk and ensure you pick up any changes in your breast tissue as early as possible.
Tip #1: Speak to your doctor about natural melatonin supplementation if you work at night.
Tip #2: Keep your weight at normal levels to prevent your body from storing oestrogen in your fat cells. This increases your breast cancer risk.
Tip #3: Check your family history of breast cancer is to see whether you’re more at risk because of genetics.
Tip #4: Perform regular beast exams so you can find any lumps or changes in your breast tissue early.
Tip #5: Drink alcohol infrequently because alcohol increases your cancer risk.
Tip #6: Exercise helps keep your weight down and can also help regulate your hormones.
Tip #7: Speak to your doctor about breast cancer and your risks. Don’t be shy to ask him what your prevention or treatment options are.
So before you quit your “night-job”, use these tips to keep your health in check and your breast cancer risk low. 

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