Study: Working Overnight Shifts Increases Breast Cancer Risk

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, KDVR, Reporting

DENVER — New research out of Denmark suggests that working overnight shifts can increase a woman’s chances of getting breast cancer by 40 percent. 

The study was published this week in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. 

It suggested the risk of cancer grew with time, and that women who considered themselves morning people had an even greater risk. 

Ellyn Matthews, an assistant professor at the University of Colorado Denver, says working that shift may affect hormone production. 

“They are exposed to light when they normally wouldn’t be, and it decreases the production and release of melatonin and that has been associated in some studies with an increased risk of breast cancer,” Matthews says. 

But she wants women to remember this is just one possible risk factor of many. 

If you are concerned, talk to your doctor before quitting your job.