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To stop breast cancer for good by improving early diagnosis, developing new treatments and preventing all types of breast cancer

Breakthrough Breast Cancer

Shift work and breast cancer risk


New research suggests that long term night shift work can increase your breast cancer risk.

Dr Hannah Bridges, from leading charity Breakthrough Breast Cancer, says, “This is one of a few studies that suggest working night shifts for many years may increase breast cancer risk. However, we don’t yet know that shift work is a risk factor for breast cancer, so we’d urge women not to panic.

“We need to better understand why night work might increase breast cancer risk. Shift work may lead to unhealthy lifestyle habits that could independently increase the risk of breast cancer, so we’d encourage all women to take part in regular physical activity, maintain a healthy weight and reduce their alcohol intake.

“The Breakthrough Generations Study is following more than 115,000 UK women for 40 years in order to discover more about the causes of breast cancer. Part of the study is looking at shift workers to help us find out more about breast cancer risks for these women and to understand how risks could be minimised in the future.”