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BREAST AND PROSTATE CANCER RISK FROM CIRCADIAN DISRUPTION BY ELECTRIC LIGHT
Lawrenceville, NJ (Dr Simone) – The brain is linked to circadian rhythms of night and day. Eye exposure to bright white light during the night suppresses melatonin production. Melatonin, in complete darkness, stops the growth of established small cancers because of its oncostatic effect.
Blue-rich white LED street lighting is five times more disruptive to our sleep cycle and this is associated with reduced sleep, impaired daytime functioning, and increased risks for cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.
Light at night increases the growth of breast cancer in rats. And for humans, there is a higher risk of breast cancer for shift workers and people with minimal or disrupted sleep, but a lower risk for those who are blind.
Men had a higher risk for prostate cancer if they had disrupted and poor-quality sleep. Men with PSA level >4 ng/ml were twice as likely to work at night; those with PSA >10 were four times as likely to work at night.
Could exposure to light at night for breast cancer patients or any cancer patient lead to increased resistance to or toxicity from chemotherapy or radiation therapy and hence treatment failures?
Special lighting is being developed for NASA to insure that astronauts in a space station will have proper visual support, improved sleep, daytime alertness, and lock them into the proper circadian rhythm.
(c) 2015 Charles B. Simone, M.MS, M.D.