Health & Fitness Tips
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How do late-night shifts increase cancer risk in women?

It is true that humans tend to give maximum input during daytime as compared to nights. However, working late nights have given birth to millions of night owls instead of early birds.

Nowadays, late night shifts have become a norm in many MNCs which is increasing at a higher pace.

Somehow, the latest studies reveal that night shifts eventually lead to poor health and increase cancer risk, especially in women. Experts say that women indulge in late-night shifts are five times more at risk to develop cancer as compared to women work during daytime.

Do you know that women who work in late night shifts are prone to develop specific cancer and they are breast cancer, lung cancer and skin cancer?

How is a proper sleep cycle associated with your health?

To climb the success stairs to a bright career and future, we forget our limitations, work maximum hours and forget to meet the requirement of minimal hours of sleep – 7 to 9 hours. This lack of sleep often leads to numerous health issues like obesity, heart diseases, sleep disorders and cancer, especially in women.

According to the latest reports, it has been concluded that 19 percent of women who are engaged in night shifts are prone to develop cancer as compared to who work in regular shifts. It has also been observed that breast cancer risk increases by 3.3 percent for every five years in night shifts.

How does the development of cancer risk vary according to the profession?

Female nurses are prone to develop cancer as compared to women in other professions. According to the analysis done only on female nurses work in late night shifts, 58 percent of them are at a higher risk to develop breast cancer, 35 percent are linked to gastrointestinal cancer and 28 percent of women are prone to develop skin cancer. These statistics are far more dangerous than the one indulge in other professions but working late at night.

How are late night shifts and cancer interrelated?

Late night shifts lead to a disrupted circadian rhythm.
Circadian rhythm is a biological process that has an oscillation of 24 hours and is activated by light.

For a person indulges in late night shifts, there has been a noticeable change in melatonin levels. Melatonin is a hormone that has a strong effect on sleep. However, its production decreases with age. It suppresses cancer cells and new blood vessel growth related to tumors. Melatonin levels tend to rise during nights; somehow, when a person stays awake at night under artificial night, the levels get decreased leading to tumor growth. Moreover, when the normal sleep cycle is disrupted, it affects the genes responsible for repairing DNA that leads to abnormal growth of cells resulting in a tumor.

How can night shift workers decrease their cancer risk?

Chennai, being the fourth largest metropolitan city, has many MNCs that work round the clock, demand night shifts irrespective of the gender and hence, these shifts result in increased cancer risk. Therefore, it is essential to go for a regular check-up. There are many highly-skilled, best cardiac surgeons in Chennai associated with top NABH and JCI accredited hospitals that can help out in maintaining a healthy lifestyle throughout. All you need to do is keep a balanced diet, control weight issues and increase physical activity by seeking professional medical help.