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Breast cancer

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Working night shifts

Posted by

I'm due to go back to work in a nursing home in August and will be working  nights as I have done for many years.The trouble is I'm concerned that my breast cancer could have been caused by my doing nights ,no professional will tell me it has but i have my doubts.I do nights as they suit me and I'm partially deaf so easier for me as less people around but I'm scared I'm doing the wrong thing for my health and this is making me anxious on top of everything else. I'm under pressure financially to go back and single so no cushion to fall back on.Any ideas anyone or thoughts would help.

Posted by


Great you are at the stage where returning to work is do'able, assume you are going back on some sort of phased return - like 2 or 3 nights a week for the first couple of weeks ?

I wouldn't beat yourself up about night work causing cancer; shift work can be a little unsettling to your sleep pattern at first but you will soon get back into it.  Contrary to older studies a more recent major study of over 100,000 women found no increased risk of breast cancer through working night shifts.

You can read the NHS page about the Study Results clicking here.

OK I'm a fella but did shifts all through my working life from the age of 16 through to retirement included within that was over 25 years of alternating 12 hours shifts and have had (touch wood) none of the supposed problems associated with working nights.

Some find they can cope well and even relish night work so if you were alright with it before there's no reason you won't get back into the groove just don't overdo it at first or you may hit 'the wall' as it hasn't been that long since you finished chemotherapy and it can take up to 6 months for all your 'good' cells that got wiped out to get back to normal levels.

I'm going to tag   If I recall she does similar work which probably also involves night shifts ?

Best Wishes with getting a bit of normality back into your life and a few pennys in the coffers 

Take care, G n' J

Posted by

Thanks for reply, that was helpful and reassuring to read .nice to know others have done night shifts for ages and dont seem to be affected. I think its combination of the virus worry and my health that triggered this anxiety but once I go back I'm sure it will settle down

I did read studies on breast cancer and nights and yes apparently they cant prove a connection, it's just you want to become healthier and improve your lifestyle after treatment so I will start looking around for another job at some point.

Thanks for input and I feel bit better about going back x