Cancer risk for late night workers
Thursday 19 March 2009
Most of us lead hectic working lives that require us to work late nights from time to time, but if you have a penchant for making a regular habit of it, then you may need to think again!
Latest research from the Journal of The National Cancer Institute shows that women who have spent over 30 years working late nights are at a 36% greater chance of developing breast cancer than those who haven’t.
And the risk is said to be so serious, that only those who have been exposed to substances such as asbestos pose a greater risk of developing the disease.
Professor Andrew Watterson, of Stirling University warns, “I think we can say there is a big public health problem here.”
Evidence from the United Nation’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) shows that changes in sleep patterns can suppress the production of melatonin, which is vital to helping prevent cancer cells from growing.
Pressure now mounts on the UK government to act after Denmark have already begun paying compensation to female breast cancer sufferers as a result of late night working.
However, Professor Andrew Watterson, of Stirling University, feels the UK is not doing enough:
“We don’t tend to identify the damage being done where shift-working is prevalent and I think that’s an error. The damage is there but we don’t see it and we don’t count it.”
So far, 40 female Danish breast cancer sufferers have received compensation as a result of late night working.
What better excuse to head home early from work!
By Karenate Inyang-Songhonron