Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Shift work may be associated with decreased risk of skin cancer

Date:
March 2, 2011
Source:
Brigham and Women's Hospital
Summary:
Melatonin is known to have cancer-protective properties, and shift work can induce desynchrony of the circadian system, reducing melatonin production. Shift work has been thought to have important health impacts, with evidence linking shift work to an increased risk of several cancers including breast, endometrial, prostate and colorectal, and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. In a recent study, researchers found that shift work may be associated with a reduced risk of skin cancer in women.

Melatonin is known to have cancer-protective properties, and shift work can induce desynchrony of the circadian system, reducing melatonin production. Shift work has been thought to have important health impacts, with evidence linking shift work to an increased risk of several cancers including breast, endometrial, prostate, and colorectal, and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. In a recent study, researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) found that shift work may be associated with a reduced risk of skin cancer in women.

These findings are published online in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

"Shift work has been associated with increased risk of certain cancers and chronic non-malignant diseases such as gastrointestinal disorders, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes," said lead study author Eva Schernhammer, MD, DrPh, a researcher in the Channing Laboratory at BWH. "However, while shift work has been associated with other cancers, the risk of skin cancer among night-shift workers is unknown."

The researchers documented 10,799 incidents of skin cancer in 68,336 women in the Nurses' Health Study over 18 years of follow-up and examined the relationship between rotating night shifts and skin cancer. They found that higher duration of working rotating nightshifts was associated with a significantly lower risk of skin cancer.

When examining the effect of night shift work on different types of skin cancer, although the risk for each skin cancer (basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma) decreased, the strongest association was observed for melanoma. Working ten or more years of rotating night-shifts was associated with 44 percent decreased risk of melanoma.

The researchers also found that darker-haired women in the study had the lowest risk of skin cancer. There were no differences in risk by sunlight exposure level at baseline, geographic residence or body location of skin cancer. That the inverse association was strongest among women with dark hair raises the possibility for several mechanistic explanations, including a genetic component that may affect both the extent of melatonin suppression during night work and skin cancer risk.

"Although higher melatonin levels appear to be beneficial in individuals with stable circadian rhythms, in shift workers, for certain disease outcomes melatonin suppression may actually be more beneficial," concluded Dr. Schernhammer.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Brigham and Women's Hospital. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. E. S. Schernhammer, P. Razavi, T. Y. Li, A. A. Qureshi, J. Han. Rotating Night Shifts and Risk of Skin Cancer in the Nurses' Health Study. JNCI Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 2011; DOI: 10.1093/jnci/djr044

Cite This Page:

Brigham and Women's Hospital. "Shift work may be associated with decreased risk of skin cancer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 March 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110302101702.htm>.
Brigham and Women's Hospital. (2011, March 2). Shift work may be associated with decreased risk of skin cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110302101702.htm
Brigham and Women's Hospital. "Shift work may be associated with decreased risk of skin cancer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110302101702.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

Newsy (July 20, 2014) Cynthia Robinson claims R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company hid the health and addiction risks of its products, leading to the death of her husband in 1996. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tooth Plaque Provides Insight Into Diets Of Ancient People

Tooth Plaque Provides Insight Into Diets Of Ancient People

Newsy (July 19, 2014) Research on plaque from ancient teeth shows that our prehistoric ancestor's had a detailed understanding of plants long before developing agriculture. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Contaminated Water Kills 3 Babies in South African Town

Contaminated Water Kills 3 Babies in South African Town

AFP (July 18, 2014) Contaminated water in South Africa's northwestern town of Bloemhof kills three babies and hospitalises over 500 people. The incident highlights growing fears over water safety in South Africa. Duration: 02:22 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins