Early risers less likely to develop breast cancer, study finds

08 November, 2018, 04:00 | Author: Lillian Steele
  • Breast cancer awareness

Women who wake up early have a lower risk of developing breast cancer, USA Today cited researchers in the United Kingdom as saying.

The morning people had a reduced risk of more than 40%, compared to the night owls.

The research, which is being presented at the NCRI Cancer Conference in Glasgow, also found that breast cancer risk increased by 20 per cent for every hour a women slept beyond the recommended amount of 7 to 8 hours a night.

NCRI Partners are: Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC); Bloodwise; Brain Tumour Research; Breast Cancer Now; Cancer Research UK; Children with Cancer UK; Department of Health and Social Care; Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC); Macmillan Cancer Support; Marie Curie; Medical Research Council (MRC); Northern Ireland Health and Social Care Public Health Agency (Research & Development Department); Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund; Prostate Cancer UK; Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation; Scottish Government Health Directorates (Chief Scientist Office); Tenovus Cancer Care; The Wellcome Trust and Welsh Assembly Government (Health and Care Research Wales). "In such a scenario, sleep patterns may be associated with risk of breast cancer, but not directly cause it". She passionately expressed that the walk assists in recognizing that "we need a cure for this and we need women to be more diligent about checking themselves and going for mammograms".

"The statistical method used in this study, called Mendelian randomization, does not always allow causality to be inferred", said Dipender Gill, clinical research training fellow at Imperial College London. The World Health Organization already says disruption to people's body clocks because of shift work is probably linked to cancer risk.

And this is involved in breast cancer? "For example, the genetic determinants of sleep may also affect other neuronal mechanisms that affect breast cancer risk independently of sleep patterns".

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So will a good night's sleep stop me getting cancer?

Read: Sleep: Do you get enough?

Being a morning person is partly down to genetics, so this lowered risk does make some sense.

Richmond stressed that the 48% lower risk was identified among "extreme" cases, where people identified themselves as "definite" morning people out of the five categories they could chose from - definite morning, more morning than evening, neither, more evening than morning, definite evening.

"These are interesting findings that provide further evidence of how our body clock and our natural sleep preference is implicated in the onset of breast cancer".

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