This blog has often drawn attention to the increasing evidence that shift working is a health risk and according to even more newresearch, working shifts is more likely to give you cancer. A study, published in Current Biology, claims that irregular sleeping patterns “unequivocally” led to breast cancer in mice. The latest study, which used mice, circumvents some of the problems associated by examining humans for this theory and found that mice who had their body clock delayed by 12 hours every week for a year showed a “decrease in tumour suppression.” The animals, who are prone to breast cancer, usually develop tumours after 50 weeks – but circadian disruption meant scientists found tumours eight weeks before that.
Scientists have suggested that by disrupting the body’s internal clock – known as the circadian rhythm disturbance (CRD) – increases the chances of getting cancer.
The scientists cautioned that women with a history of breast cancer should never work shifts. Researcher Gijsbetus van der Horst, from the Erasmus University Medical Centre, in the Netherlands, said: "If you had a situation where a family is at risk for breast cancer, I would certainly advise those people not to work as a flight attendant or to do shift work".