October is the Breast Cancer Awareness month. However, this should be a topic discussed on a regular basis in every environment. That’s why we wrote this article that can be read at any time of the year because we all have a special one that might need this information. And even though we know cancer doesn’t discriminate against any race or gender, we want to write about the importance of having self-awareness if you work in the medical field.

The effects of working long night shifts

A study made by the American Cancer Association says that “Most studies of nurses who work night shifts found increased risks of breast cancer associated with long-term employment.” The reason why is that the continuing exposure to light at night disrupts the production of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep. Some studies have shown that melatonin may inhibit the growth of small tumors and prevent new tumors from developing.

Nurses and doctors generally work long shifts, and it is hard to change those hours if you work in a hospital, but there are ways to increase your melatonin naturally:

  • Take at least 15 minutes of natural sunlight, you don’t have to be under the sun directly. just by reaching a close window while drinking a tea it’s enough.
  • Eat food that contains Trytopham (It increases the natural production of melatonin). You can find it in foods that contain protein, like oats, turkey, chicken or almonds.
  • Keep your bedroom as dark as possible, this will help you to sleep better, and a good night of sleep increases melatonin.
  • Consuming magnesium will boost your melatonin levels too. Magnesium is easily found in spinach, pumpkin seeds, yogurt,  avocados, and dark chocolate.

Other risk factors for developing breast cancer are:

  • Family history
  • Genetical predisposition
  • Endogenous hormone levels 
  • Reproductivity factors
  • Diet factors

There are some other elements that are being studied, but there is no conclusive evidence. If you would like to read the complete article please go to the American Cancer Society study. 

Early detection

We often hear about the importance of detecting cancer in an early stage, so the treatment will be more effective. Here are some things you should do:

Practice healthy habits

Even though having a healthy lifestyle don’t prevent cancer, it will certainly help to decrease the risk of developing it:

  • Do not smoke
  • Practice a sport, or just be active
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Eat fruits and vegetables

Establish a regular breast self-exam 

40% of the breast cancers are detected by the person, just by spending some time auto examining, the time you spend in the shower or before going to sleep is a good moment to do so.

Check with your doctor during your annual PAP test

If something is bothering you, do not hesitate to go immediately to the doctor.

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