There are many lifestyle factors that can increase our risk of developing cancer, but did you know that mobile phone usage could be one of them?
A study in 2018 found that exposure to high levels of outdoor blue light at night could increase the risk of prostate cancer twofold.
According to experts, blue light is believed to be the most damaging to human health as it has a shorter wavelength than other light in the visible spectrum, meaning it emits more energy.
In a 2020 Spanish study, further evidence highlighted the detrimental effects of blue light on our health.
According to Doctor Deborah Lee, from Dr Fox Online: “661 bowel cancer patients were compared to 1,322 controls. The authors calculated, using data on artificial at night exposure from satellite monitoring, that exposure to blue light increased the risk of bowel cancer by 60 percent.
“Blue light has been linked to an increased incidence of other cancers, such as breast and prostate cancer. Late shift workers are at an increased risk of breast cancer."
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Previous research has shown that blue light has a domino effect on several biological mechanisms in the body, such as melatonin production.
The restraint of melatonin directly impacts the sleep-wake cycle, also known as the body’s circadian rhythms.
Experts have previously highlighted the importance of addressing circadian rhythms in studies of cancer.
Doctor Lee explained: “Blue light is known to prevent the release of the sleep hormone melatonin. Melatonin does a lot more than just induce sleep.
“It regulates the circadian rhythms, which are vital to synchronise your body’s cellular processes.”
Circadian rhythms are physical, mental, and behavioural changes that follow a 24-hour cycle.
Because this internal system is closely interlinked with the pathways involved in homeostasis and metabolism, disruptions to the clock can promote the onset and progression of cancer.
Doctor Lee said: “Melatonin has been shown to directly reduce the rate of cell division in bowel cancer cells and to facilitate clearance removal of malignant bowel cancer cells.
“It may be that increased blue light exposure - and mobile phones emit blue light - is indeed a risk factor for cancer, including bowel cancer.”
It may be necessary to avoid phone usage late at night to maintain regularity to the body’s internal clock.
Doctor Lee added: “It makes sense to use your mobile phone less often and stay away from any blue light devices (desktops, laptops, iPad, TVs and others) in the evenings, to allow your melatonin levels to rise naturally before bedtime.
“Mobile phones cause havoc overnight as they disrupt your sleeping patterns. Try and live in sync with your body clock. This is the way your body’s metabolism works the best."