British researchers analyzed two data banks that included more than 409,000 women to investigate the link between sleep traits and breast cancer risk. The research also suggested that for women who slept longer than the recommended seven to eight hours per night, the risk of being diagnosed increased by 20 per cent per additional hour slept.
"What we would like to look at next is the interplay between our innate preference, to being a morning person or an evening person, and our actual behavior", lead researcher Dr. Rebecca Richmond told British newspaper The Independent.
"In other words, it may not be the case that changing your habits changes your risk of breast cancer; it may be more complex than that", she noted.
As reported by Sarah Knapton from the Telegraph, the research was funded by Cancer Research UK and the Medical Research Council and presented at the NCRI Cancer Conference in Glasgow on 5 November. And obesity is set to become the leading preventable cause of breast cancer for women in the United Kingdom, according to a report from earlier this year.
The team concluded that the study shows consistent evidence for a protective effect of morning preference, and suggestive evidence for an adverse effect of sleep duration on breast cancer risk.
Researchers also looked at results from nearly 229,000 women signed up to an worldwide genetic study carried out by the Breast Cancer Association Consortium.
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Dr Emma Pennery, of the Breast Cancer Care charity, said: 'Changing your sleeping habits is not as easily done as other proven risk-reducing choices, as they're often part and parcel with jobs, parenting or other health conditions'.
There is good news if you are a morning person. Starr, a breast cancer survivor, who is a part of the corporate sponsor Houlihan Lawrence, has been involved in these types of marches for years. The use of Mendelian randomisation in this study enables the researchers to examine the causal effect on breast cancer of different sleep patterns by looking at the variations in particular genes already known to be associated with sleep characteristics.
The Chief Executive Officer, AXA Mansard Health Limited, Mr Tope Adeniyi, said, "There is still no sure way to prevent breast cancer yet".
NCRI works to coordinate research related to cancer, to improve the quality and relevance of research and to accelerate translation of research into clinical practice for the benefit of patients.
The Medifem Multi-Specialist Hospital & Fertility Centre has rounded up a series of activities put together to mark Breast Cancer Awareness campaign in October.