Working Late and Cancer-Risk

According to a new study, working the late shift has been linked to an increased risk of cancer. Maria Cheng of the Associated Press reports:
If the shift work theory proves correct, millions of people worldwide could be affected. Experts estimate that nearly 20 percent of the working population in developed countries work night shifts.

It is a surprising twist for an idea that scientists first described as "wacky," said Richard Stevens, a cancer epidemiologist and professor at the University of Connecticut Health Center. In 1987, Stevens published a paper suggesting a link between light at night and breast cancer.

Back then, he was trying to figure out why breast cancer incidence suddenly shot up starting in the 1930s in industrialized societies, where nighttime work was considered a hallmark of progress. Most scientists were bewildered by his proposal.

But in recent years, several studies have found that women working at night for many years are indeed more prone to breast cancer, and that animals who have their light-dark schedules switched grow more cancerous tumors and die quicker.
This doesn’t surprise me. In my supermarket days I used to work overnights a lot and after a few days of that—I felt like crap! Not good according to Dr. Fuhrman:
A safe and satisfying work environment, a happy marriage, a satisfying social and/or family life, and activities you enjoy are all related to positive health outcomes. Emotional wellness starts right here your finger tips end. As you respect and appreciate the value in the world around you and develop interests in other people and in such things as art, music, entertainment, sports, nature, and physical activity, you can respect yourself more for your ability and desire to appreciate the value of things not yourself.

In other words, as you learn about and begin to care for things, you gain a legitimate reason to be pleased with yourself. A healthy emotional response to life hinges on your ability to grant value and importance to things that are deserving of it. This ability and desire to interact in a fair and equitable way with the world around you forms the basis of your emotional contentment and self-esteem.
Although, now I often find myself blogging in the middle of night…stupid!
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LLouise - December 3, 2007 5:33 PM

I knew that late-night working messed with circadian rhythms, made you feel junky, etc., but I find this cancer link shocking. Amazing how far we've moved from what is, not only natural for us, but also, good for us...and in pursuit of what? Anyone care to join me in moving into caves and living off the land?!! :^D

LLouise - December 4, 2007 1:00 AM

Oh, no. You won't need those contraptions out yonder. You'll be gone from sun up to down, foraging; wading through water for seaweeds; picking beans, seeds, nuts, and greens; lifting and carrying bushels of this-and-that; trudging uphill and down; running from various predators -- more than enough exercise :^P

Jayson - December 4, 2007 4:18 PM

Dang, your pretty high tech with all that fancy body workin stuff ! All I gots is some old Chevy pickup brake drums !


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