Walker, W.H., II; Bumgarner, J.R.; Walton, J.C.; Liu, J.A.; Meléndez-Fernández, O.H.; Nelson, R.J.; DeVries, A.C. Light Pollution and Cancer. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21, 9360.
For many individuals in industrialized nations, the widespread adoption of electric lighting has dramatically affected the circadian organization of physiology and behavior. Although initially assumed to be innocuous, exposure to artificial light at night (ALAN) is associated with several disorders, including increased incidence of cancer, metabolic disorders, and mood disorders. Within this review, we present a brief overview of the molecular circadian clock system and the importance of maintaining fidelity to bright days and dark nights. We describe the interrelation between core clock genes and the cell cycle, as well as the contribution of clock genes to oncogenesis. Next, we review the clinical implications of disrupted circadian rhythms on cancer, followed by a section on the foundational science literature on the effects of light at night and cancer. Finally, we provide some strategies for mitigation of disrupted circadian rhythms to improve health.
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