Shift-Work Might be Associated with Reduced Skin Cancer Risk

A study conducted at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), states that shift work might be associated with decreased risk of skin cancer among women. Although, shift work is often linked to increased risk of many forms of cancer, these findings come as a surprise. Melatonin is said to imbibe cancer-protective properties. Shift work might reduce the production of melatonin by inducing desynchrony of circadian system.

The researchers studied about 10,799 skin cancer incidents in about 68,336 women over 18 years’ follow up. They noticed that working night shifts might significantly lower the risk of skin cancer. Working for ten or more years in night-shift was linked to 44% reduced risk of melanoma. It was also observed that women with dark hair were at the lowest risk of skin cancer.

According to Eva Schernhammer, researcher at the BWH and the lead author of the study, the skin cancer risk among night-shift workers is yet unknown. The findings appear in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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