There's new news on the breast cancer front -- French researchers have discovered that women who work at night are 30 percent more likely to develop breast cancer than those who don't. The study observed that women who worked on average 4.5 hours overnight for no more than three nights a week were the ones most at risk. Also, the risk was higher for night-working women who didn't have any children compared to those who started working the graveyard shift later in life.
Even though this is bad news for many women out there who must work, or choose to work, when the rest of the world is sleeping, any news breast cancer is, ostensibly, good news.
The more we know about this disease that touches so, so many of us, the better. As more research from around the globe is collected and analyzed, we'll continue to gain a better understanding of this pervasive affliction.
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More research is needed to really hammer out the association between night-working and breast cancer, but scientists hypothesize that the link may come from a disruption of the body clock and sleep deprivation, which ultimately leads to a weakened immune system.
So if there's something you can do for the women in your lives, you may want to recommend that they get a good night's sleep. Even though the research is still relatively rough, it's important to note the initial correlation between breast cancer risk and sleep deprivation.
That said, coffee, everyone's favorite sleep deprivation remedy, has been found to lower the risk of breast cancer. Go figure.
Getting some quality zzz's might not just feel great, it could also lower your risk of breast cancer. Not a bad excuse to hit the hay early tonight, is it?
Do you manage to get all the sleep you need?
Photo via Nuper Dasgupta/Flickr