Study suggests link between shift work and ovarian cancer

March 20, 2013

Seattle – Shift work may be associated with a higher risk of ovarian cancer, according to a study from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

Researchers compared shift work histories of 1,101 women with an advanced form of ovarian cancer, 389 with borderline tumors and 1,832 women without cancer. Women working a night shift had a higher risk of invasive and borderline tumors, the study abstract states.

The risk was highest for women 50 or older, and lower for women who preferred being active in the evening rather than the morning. However, the study did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship between shift work and cancer.

The study was published in the April issue of the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine.