Artificial light at night can increase your risk of thyroid cancer.
Your brain has a clock, which is controlled by circadian rhythms and helps monitors all your bodily functions. This is aligned with the cycle of natural light, but the invention of artificial light has disrupted these natural patterns that affect our health. A new study has found that exposure to nighttime artificial lights can elevate your risk of thyroid cancer risk. Also Read – COVID-19 treatment: New immune test to help doctors prioritize ICU beds and ventilators
Decreased Melatonin Production Linked To A High-Risk Factor Of Thyroid Cancer
The study published in Cancer, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, found that people living in regions with high levels of outdoor artificial light at night may face a higher risk of developing thyroid cancer. Also Read – 5 Unexpected Spots Where You Can Develop Skin Cancer
When you sleep at night, your body releases melatonin, a hormone your brain produces in response to darkness. Being exposed to light at night can block melatonin production. The scientists at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health found that light at night suppresses melatonin. This happens because light at night interrupts your body’s internal clock, which is a risk factor for various types of cancer. Also Read – Combining 'A Body Shape Index' With BMI May Help Predict Cancer Risk: UK Study
Women At A Higher Risk Of Thyroid Cancer
For the study, the team analyzed data of 4,64,371 participants who were followed for an average of 12.8 years. Out of these, 384 men and 47 women were diagnosed with thyroid cancer. When compared to the lowest quantile of light at night, the results showed that the highest quantile is at 55 per cent higher risk of developing the disease. As per the study, the most common form of thyroid cancer was called papillary thyroid cancer. It was found to be stronger in women than in men. It was also found that the association was stronger for localized cancer with no sign of spread to other parts of the body. In men, the association was stronger for more advantaged stages of cancer.
The association was similar for different sizes of the tumour and across participants with different sociodemographic characteristics and body mass index. Thyroid cancer is a rare type of cancer, which affects the thyroid, a butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of the neck. Although there are no significant signs and symptoms of the disease, one prominent symptom is a painless lump or swelling in the neck. The exact cause of this particular type of cancer is not known, but exposure to artificial light at night is one of the causes that you need to avoid.