Ovarian Cancer Risk Increased in Women Working at Night Shift

Working the night shift is not just mess up your sleep schedule, but it also can increase the risk of various diseases, such as obesity or heart attack. In fact according to a recent study, it may be associated with ovarian cancer risk in women.

The study was published in the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine, which is the result of research by scientists from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. Researchers found that women who work the night shift may be at a higher risk of ovarian cancer.

The study involved 3322 women, of which 1101 of whom have a common form of ovarian cancer, while 389 people have a form of early stage ovarian cancer. Another woman remainder included in the healthy comparison group.

About a quarter to a third of women in each group is different reports that he sometimes had to work at night a few times, the average period of 2.7 to 3.5 years.

"We found that women who work night shifts associated with the risk of ovarian cancer by 24 percent and 49 percent risk of early stage ovarian cancer," said Dr. Parveen Bhatti, author of the study, as reported by Everyday Health, Friday (15/03/2013).

Given the high mortality rate among patients with ovarian cancer, it is important to identify risk factors for ovarian cancer in disease prevention. The researchers explained that melatonin, a hormone that is normally produced at night and set of reproductive hormones such as estrogen, may be the cause of increased risk.

Melatonin suppress estrogen levels, but not produced in low-light conditions like night. Therefore, according to the study, night shift workers experience some kind of shift in hormone production.

According to the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, the high levels of estrogen associated with an increased risk of ovarian cancer, which may be one reason why night-shift workers appear to be at increased risk of ovarian cancer.

The relationship between night shift work and cancer is not only due to ovarian hormonal shifts, but also the other effects of sleep deprivation. Enough hours of sleep can help prevent many health conditions, including obesity, diabetes, heart disease, multiple sclerosis and breast cancer.