Working the night shift can cause cancer in women?

If working nights wasn’t stressful enough for everyone, now there’s research that shows working at nights may lead to higher instances of breast cancer in women.

I work with a few ladies at night (our usual schedule) so this news, while it’s been the talk almost every time we meet, is most certainly not welcome. The research pertains to the Danish military in which 18,500 women who served between 1964 – 1999 and 141 had developed breast cancer by 2005 – 2006.

Most surprising, though, was the fact that women who worked night shifts and described themselves as being “morning” people — that is, they preferred to wake up early, rather than stay up late at night — had a four times higher risk of breast cancer than women who worked during the day. “The four times higher increased risk surprised us. It was very unusual,” says Hansen.

This is also the case with almost everyone I work with, not just women. I’m one of the few there that are actual night owls and the rest are the “normal” folks who work because that’s just part of the job and otherwise would rather be enjoying daylight.

There were grumbles of this previously when they looked at nurses who worked the night shift and considered other parameters besides just lack of direct Sun.

The nurse studies had pointed toward a possible explanation for the association: because night workers labor under artificial light, they may be exposed to less natural sunlight and, therefore, less vitamin D from the sun’s rays than day workers; lower levels of vitamin D have been linked to increased risk of breast cancer. Based on the questionnaires, however, Hansen found that the Danish night workers actually spent more time outdoors and had higher rates of sun exposure than day workers, since they were free during the day when others were indoors at work.

I know that at least three are mothers who spend time with their children during the day, outdoors a lot of times. This is most distressing and if it can be corroborated outside the Danish military, we’ll have to rethink the true cost of working at night. However the two other women in the “night owl” category may be spared this danger.

Genes may also play a role, since whether a person is a “night owl or a “lark” is partially determined by his or her genetic makeup. Hansen’s finding that shift work can be particularly risky for “larks,” people who are more alert and active in the morning than at night, makes sense, since genetics may make it harder for a morning person to adjust to hormonal and metabolic changes that come with working at night. “It’s much worse to be a morning person and have night shift work when it comes to breast cancer,” says Hansen.

I hope the vitamins I see a lot of the “larks” taking are compensating for this at least somewhat.

Update

This post previously had “18,500 women who served between 1964 – 1999 and had developed breast cancer”, which is incorrect (very, very incorrect).
Changed to “18,500 women who served between 1964 – 1999 and 141 had developed breast cancer”.

R.I.P Bravo TV (1980 – 2001)

Once what used to be the “film and arts network” turned into the “watch what happens” petty drama, I was truly dismayed.

Then again, I would tune into it to see if anything has changed. Nope…
Now they’re committed to giving the rest of the world the impression that gay people and women have the worst taste in television ever!*[see notes]

Why would you encourage “arts” or “film” or even “class” when you can entertain with non-entertainment.

Former class act... Bravo TV sucks!

Former class act...

Now I’m starting to spend more and more time on IFC which has also been seeing its share of hiccups, but I think it probably won’t end in the same fate. Considering it is owned by Rainbow Media, the original owers of Bravo, I’m more hopeful. In fact, I think IFC (though a bit rough around the edges) is what Bravo should have been today.

There is some reality TV and semi-reality TV out there (ones inspired by some predicted outcome that goes horribly awry resulting in entertaining moments I.E. Mythbusters) that are actually interesting beyond the same arguments and silly banter we’re already used to only relocated to more affluent settings.

“Project Runway”…
Reinforcing my belief that fashion designers have no sense in fashion. I’ve seen abstract art from the 60′s that seem more comfortable and functional wrapped around a person (I.E. a scene from What a Way to Go!  from 1964 is a classic example). What better way to give a great first impression than to dess like a freak.

Whatever happened to “usable fashion”. As in something you could wear on a daily basis without handing out free seizures to everyone on the street?

“Sheer Genius”…
And I don’t care about hair! If I didn’t have to cut it or comb it to step out of the house, I would forget that I even have any. I understand you need to present some sort of upkeep there, but if I could, I would place a restraining order between my hair and each and every contestant in that show.

“Millionaire Matchmaker” ?
Here’s a hint for the naïve… There’s no such thing as romance. You find someone who puts up with you, produce offspring, and then you die. End of story. If you want comedy between that, then consider stubbing your toe and your partner laughing at you as your personal highlight. Excitement? The time you pretended to enjoy the company of your significant other while menacing over another unsuspecting soul. Your options are only as good as your looks and the size of your wallet.

If you’re wealthy, then chances are, your wallet is the only reason your significant other puts up with you. And that person isn’t so significant to you either, if their looks start to fade.

Then there’s Kathy Griffin’s “My Life on the D-List”…
I’m not going to bring up her personal life and difficulties as that has no bearing here. I just don’t give a flying intercourse about celebrities, their idiosyncrasies or other gossip. And if you’re not living a sham of a life with your only source of entertainment coming from the misery and suffering of famous intellectual midgets, neither would you.

As Patton Oswalt once exclaimed, we’re spending all our time watching “***holes and ****wads at work”, only to come home and watch the same on TV. Why?

People with enough privilege to afford plenty of therapy and be motivated to stick their heads out of their shells to see a world of suffering are not looking to reality TV to boost their careers. Those that don’t are media whores.

Notes

*Apparently, the network primarily caters to a gay and female audience between the ages of 18-54. If the line-up is any hint, according to the Bravo execs, the folks in this range, who also happen to be gay or female, are tasteless, pretentious dimwits. I sincerely hope that’s not the case.

Considering Agnieszka Holland co-wrote and directed Europa Europa, Sarah Jacobson wrote and directed I Was A Teenage Serial Killer, and Kathryn Bigelow directed Point Break, I also can’t believe female writers and directors are all one trick ponies a la “Romance” & “Comedy”. I put quotes around them as I’m seeing a disturbing trend in films created by women, allegedly part of these genres, that failed to induce either sentiment.

Movie of the Week: Blood Orgy of the Leather Girls

It’s not a movie with a substantial plot, lesson, class or even a budget. But there are some things to be learned even in a title such as this.

This is the cover for the soundtrack. So you can imagine what the rest of the movie looks like.

This is the cover for the soundtrack. So you can imagine what the rest of the movie looks like.

It was written by two women and directed by one. Starred a female cast. Carries a very strong message about feminism. I’m not quite sure what that message is, but it’s an interesting message nonetheless. A story of revenge, domination, brutality and a whole lot of butt kicking by women.

Sadly, Meredith Lucas, the co-writer and director comited suicide after she failed to secure distribution for the film.

Considering the limited release, it may be hard to find, but you may be able to find a VHS copy on eBay.

Interesting Fact :
Jo Ann Wyman, who starred in this film, went on to be a piercing expert and also made an appearance on the Mythbusters as herself. Specifically the Lightning Strike episode.