Researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) have found that skin cancer, specifically melanoma, may be associated with a reduced risk in women who do shift work. The study was published in Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
The effect shift work has on health has been studied in the past and found to increase the risk of breast, prostate and colorectal cancer according to sciencedaily.com.
Lead study author, Eva Schernhammer M.D from BWH expressed that the risk of skin cancer among night-shift workers though had been unknown. Dr. Schernhammer has also studied the effects of shift work on other health issues such as ovarian cancer, menstrual cycles and signs of aging.
A known factor of shift work is that it disrupts the body’s circadian rhythm, specifically lowering melatonin levels. Melatonin has been found to have cancer protective properties.