Night shift might boost women's breast cancer risk

Night shift could be dangerous to women's health

BALTIMORE - Women who work the night shift more than twice a week might be increasing their risk for breast cancer.  That's according to a study done by Danish researchers.  The risk appears to be cumulative and highest among women who describe themselves as "morning" people rather than "evening" people.

The reasons for these findings are uncertain, but researchers say it may have to do with exposure to light at night, which decreases the production of the night hormone melatonin that seems to protect against certain cancers.  Another reason -- sleep deprivation after night shift work leads to the suppression of the immune system, which might increase the growth of cancer cells.

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