As per a new research finding, women working late at night or in night shifts for a long time are at ‘no or little risk’ of developing breast cancer. In 2007, a World Health Organisation (WHO) committee, based on studies of animals and people, had said shift work ‘most likely’ had a link to breast cancer. However, nine years after the study, it has been found in the new work done by the leading UK cancer experts, who observed the data on 1.4m women, found there was no association of breast cancer with night shift work.
While the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) made the 2007 ruling because of the shift work’s disruption to the body clock, the Cancer Research UK (CRUK) said it hoped the findings would reassure women. The new research is published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
The new study has found that in comparison with women who had never worked in night shifts, or those who had done some overnight work – even for 20 to 30 years – had no increased risk of breast cancer. The researchers found that the occurrence of breast cancer remained essentially the same irrespective of whether a woman did no night shift work at all or did night shift work for decades.
Sarah Williams, CRUK’s health information manager, said: “This study is the largest of its kind and has found no link between breast cancer and working night shifts.”
Inputs from BBC News