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Despite an assessment in 2007 that night shift work was probably carcinogenic, data from three new studies and a review of currently available evidence indicate that night shift work has little or no effect on breast cancer incidence.

Night shift worker © - Shutterstock

The work was led by Oxford University and is published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

In its 2007 review, the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer categorised shift work that involves disruption of the circadian rhythm, people's internal 'body clock', as a probable carcinogen. This was based on evidence about breast cancer in animal studies. At the time, there was only limited evidence about breast cancer risk in humans.

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