Night shifts anybody?

Hi I was trawling through the computer before I make an effort and put some clothes on (as you do!). I found some info that links breast cancer with night shifts although, I must stress, this is not new info and some of you will already know this. I have been recently diagnosed with BC and am also a night shift worker and have been for the last 5 years and before that I worked nights for 11 years from 1993 to 2002. I am curious to know if anybody else on this site has been a night shift worker.

Hi Vee

I have also worked night shifts. I still work shifts now, but not Nights anymore. I also was aware of the link between BC and work shifts, and funnily enough the consultant asked me this question when I was diagnosed…

I noticed that the issue of night shifts now appears as a question on the current Breakthrough Generations questionnaire - no doubt in the wake of the Danes’ bizarre decision to pay out compensation.

My problem with all of these “causes” is nobody does anything in isolation in a lifetime. Did I get BC because I had a child after the age of 35, had IVF, have a family history of it, am tall, had miscarriages, lived a nocturnal lifestyle, started periods early, ate soya, drank grapefruit juice, drank alcohol, etc etc.
I don’t know and the medics certainly don’t.


I too noticed this ?link in a booklet i received, suggesting it was ‘a factor’ linking the two,

i dont know im also tall, but i have worked nights for 11 years 8pm to 8am and have got bc so who knows, im sure sure when i go back to work if i will stay on nights, but then i have bc so maybe its all alittle too late

take care


Donna - there is one thing you can be really sure of - out of the millions of women diagnosed with BC I’d guarantee that the majority did NOT work night shifts.

msmolly… thankyou i do tend to beat myself up regarding why did i get bc


Hi, I worked shift work including nights for about 20 years before I was diagnosed. Me too would blame myself for getting breast cancer - it’s because I did this, that…my fault… but now i feel a bit more chilled about it -I think there are just too many factors that coud be to blame.
One thing, however that I do dwell on is the fact that I worked in an A/E department and during my 14 yrs there, for a period of time whilst the dept was being revamped, there were an awful lot of portable xrays being taken within our work area, every day. This meant that we were working in an environment with radiation about us. Thing is, about 12-16 years later, a total of 14 staff have been diagnosed with cancer (11 breast cancer). Who knows?
Good luck to all X

Hi there,
yes I’ve worked nights for years in the 1980s/early 1990s and again for the past 7 years. There is a link to shift work generally and poorer health, and I saw recent research specifically increasing bc risk with night shifts. One of the issues is recovering between shifts - in my job I’m often expected to work a night shift or three, finish at 0700 and start work again the following morning at 0700. You need 48 hours minimum to reset your body clock, which is one of the concerns that researchers have. In my line of work shifts are essential (NHS!) but I have asked my boss about looking at the rota with a view to improving it for us all. I think all these things add up in terms of general health and well-being (feeling exhausted is par for the course in my job, but often we’re shattered because the person who does the rotas is an administrator who works 9-5 and has no idea how it feels to work shifts). Overall I’m trying to minimise my risks and stay as healthy as possible having been through my bc stuff for the past 6 months.