Science Daily reports that working the night shift for more than 30 years may increase the risk of breast cancer.

Researchers assessed 1,134 women with and 1,179 without breast cancer, who were asked about their work behavior and shifts. They found that one in three women worked the night shift. Although there was no evidence of breast cancer risk for those who had odd hours for 14 to 29 years, the chances increased for those with the same schedule for 30 years or more.

The risk was linked to hormonal imbalance, whic can be attributed to irregular sleeping habits Researchers say that the disruption of the production of the sleep hormone melatonin increases the risk of breast cancer development. Other factors such as Vitamin D deficiency, smoking, and unhealthy dietary habits may also compound the chances of having the disease.

If you're considering taking an odd-hour job, or if you're already working the night shift, make sure that the company you're in has ample medical benefits that can support you. Steer clear from an unhealthy diet, and avoid smoking, no matter how common a habit it is for your workmates. Try to ask your boss about the possibility of working on a day shift instead. Remember that your body can only take some much of something that it isn't built for.

(Photo by Raffaele Diomede via Flickr Creative Commons)

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