This discussion is a continuation of a previous discussion about prostate cancer and light hygiene.

If you study the graphs above:   Trends in mortality from prostate cancer in selected countries: age-standardised rate (W) per 100,000, you will notice that the prostate cancer mortality trends in developing nations is getting worse while the mortality trends in highly developed countries is getting better.

Interestingly, the mortality graph trend for the highly developed nations first got worse (just like the developing nations are now) before it got better. Hopefully this same mortality trend reverse will happen for the developing nations also.

So these graphs seem to indicate that modernization elements can increase prostate cancer mortality while even further additional modernization elements can reverse prostate cancer mortality rates.

So the news about the USA and prostate cancer is trending better, but there is still room for improvement.

One big obstacle to improving those prostate cancer stats is the matter of night shift work.

The vague way to explain how night shift work encourages prostate cancer is by saying that night shift work causes circadian disruption (periodic biological schedule disruption), which then causes something else to malfunction.

But for the researchers who study this problem, this kind of explanation is not specific enough.

One approach to understanding the connection between night shift work, circadian disruption and prostate cancer is to study CIRCADIAN GENES.

These are the genes in cells that function as clocks, and these clock genes tell other genes when to turn on and off. A very high percentage of your genetic code is controlled directly or indirectly by some kind of genetic clock gene. Clock genes have fancy names like: PER1, PER2, PER3, CSNK1E, CRY1, CRY2, ARNTL, CLOCK, NPAS2, TIMELESS, MTNR1A, and MTNR1B.

By examining blood samples it is possible to know what a clock gene is "commanding" for that specific time.

One prostate cancer theory says that "Circadian genes may affect prostate cancer risk through their influence on sex hormone levels......." (see page 7 paragraph 4 of Circadian clock genes and risk of fatal prostate cancer)

But this is just one competing theory.

This theory nicely parallels the present day treatments of prostate cancer that employ sex hormone drugs. But no one comprehensive theory has of yet surfaced that explains the exact molecular-mechanism-disease-origin to the satisfaction of today's research scientists.

So, although the exact molecular mechanisms that causes prostate cancer are still not known, today we do know some of the risk factors, and night shift work with circadian disruption is a risk factor.

And there is some good news.

While the scientists are still trying to figure out the exact molecular mechanisms, right now today night shift workers can improve their sleep by wearing blue blocking glasses in the morning and that improved sleep implies a healthier circadian rhythm.

The abstract of this paper is free, but the full text is not.

I suggest for the night shift worker that they wear red lens eyewear when outdoors, and orange lens eyewear indoors, prior to their intended sleep time.