Dark Bilious Vapors

But how could I deny that I possess these hands and this body, and withal escape being classed with persons in a state of insanity, whose brains are so disordered and clouded by dark bilious vapors....
--Rene Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy: Meditation I

Home » Archives » July 2005 » Now they tell us....

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07/13/2005: Now they tell us....

Interesting. Before she died (of multiple sclerosis acquired surprisingly late in life--age 50, where, according to her attending neurologist such cases develop more aggressively and patients succumb sooner to the disease), my mother was a breast cancer survivor. She was also an LPN who worked the night shift at St. Louis's Deaconness Hospital (long since acquired by some other health care conglomerate) for a number of years while my brother and I were growing up.

Now, XM's health news minute has referred us to the results of some Danish research which suggests that working the night shift may be a significant risk factor in development of breast cancer:

Women who work at night may well be more likely to develop breast cancer, according to large-scale Danish research.

The statistical study from the Institute of Cancer Epidemiology is the most compelling evidence yet of a link between the two.

It still leaves doctors with little idea as to why there might be a connection, although there is speculation that altered exposure to light during the hours of darkness may trigger hormonal changes which increase the risk.


The Danish study looked at more than 7,000 women between the ages of 30 and 54 years.

Full employment histories were reconstructed dating back to 1964, and the results were altered to take account of other risk factors such as alcohol consumption, and age at the birth of first and last children.

The researchers found that women who had worked predominantly at night for at least six months in their working life had an increased incidence of breast cancer.

Statistically, they were 50% more likely to develop the disease.

Len on 07.13.05 @ 07:39 AM CST

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