Night shift work does not increase the risk of breast cancer in women

Night shift work does not increase the risk of breast cancer in women

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How does night shift work affect breast cancer risk?

For decades, many experts have maintained that there is a connection between shift work and breast cancer in women. But researchers have now found that night shift work does not increase the risk of breast cancer in women.

The latest study by the Institute of Cancer Research in London found that night shift work does not affect the risk of breast cancer in women. The results of the study were published in the English-language journal "British Journal of Cancer".

Metaanalysis does not identify an increased risk

In 2007, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) concluded that shift work that disrupts the body's natural sleep-wake cycle is likely to be carcinogenic. However, the current study builds on the conclusions of a meta-analysis from 2016, which shows that there are little or no associations. For the British study, 102,869 women were examined and medically monitored over a period of ten years. This study was questioned because of the higher average age of the participants and the limited details about the type of shift work that women do. The average age of participants in the study at the time of recruitment was 45, and 17.5 percent of the people said they had worked regularly between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. in the past ten years.

2,059 women developed invasive breast cancer

During the investigation, the researchers observed that 2,059 out of 102,869 women developed invasive breast cancer. Taking various risk factors into account, the researchers found no overall connection between cancer and night shift work. They also found no significant difference in risk in terms of the type of night shift work, the age at which work started, and whether shift work started the night before or after an initial pregnancy.

Women working on the night shift should not be worried

The only statistically significant trend was found specifically in the average nightly work hours per week, but the authors explained that this was not supported by previous evidence or a proposed biological explanation. The researchers hope that the current results will help reassure hundreds of thousands of women who work night shifts. Affected women can assume that their professional patterns are very unlikely to increase their risk of breast cancer. (as)

Author and source information

Video: Night Shifts Increases Cancer Risk Study (July 2022).


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