A new study released by researchers at the University of Quebec and Centre INRS-Institut Armand-Frappier reveals that men who work the night shift are almost three times more likely to develop prostate cancer.
The study involved 3,137 men who had cancer at one of 11 different sites on their bodies plus 512 men who didn’t have cancer. The findings revealed that working the night shift was directly linked to a 2.77 times higher risk of prostate cancer. In addition, the results also showed a 1.76 times higher risk of lung cancer, a 1.74 higher risk of bladder cancer, a 2.03 times higher risk of colon cancer, a 1.31 times higher risk for non-hodgkin’s lymphoma and a 2.27 times higher risk for pancreatic cancer.
Furthermore, in addition to all of the statistics above, the findings also revealed a whopping 20.9 times higher risk for rectal cancer in men working these types of shifts.
While the exact reasoning for the increased risk for developing these diseases hasn’t yet been determined, researchers believe too much exposure to light in the late hours of the night might be a huge contributor.
Study researcher Marie-Elise Parent explains, “exposure to light at night can lead to a reduced production of the sleep hormone melatonin, inducing physiological changes that may provoke the development of tumors.” She continues, “This hormone, habitually released in the middle of the night in response to absence of light, plays a pivotal role in hormonal functions and in the immune system.”
No information was released on whether the same types of risks apply to female night shift workers.
Source: Huffington Post