Early studies indicate that melatonin supplementation may be useful for breast cancer prevention and treatment by reducing breast cancer cell growth. Melatonin supplementation has been found to reduce breast cancer cell growth and increases cancer cell destruction by modulating estrogen-dependent pathways that lead to cancer cell growth.
Artificial light at night (ALAN) leads to melatonin suppression and deficiency. Low levels of melatonin affect methylation of genes and are found to cause epigenetic triggering involved in breast cancer (Haim, 2015). Researchers are quick to point out that this ALAN-induced epigenetic modification is reversible, therefore early detection is of great significance in the treatment of breast cancer. Melatonin levels can be monitored with saliva and blood tests.
Those who are deficient can be treated with melatonin supplementation. Once normal levels of melatonin have been restored, supplements are no longer necessary. Levels can be maintained with proper sleep and a melatonin-rich diet. Melatonin not only acts as an antioxidant, blocks estrogen receptors, and triggers apoptosis but also reverses epigenetic triggers, thus turning off breast cancer pathways.
Melatonin supplementation has proven to improve survival rate and toleration of treatment, especially for those who are ER+ (Martinez-Campa, 2008).
Recommendation: 2 mg of melatonin at bedtime.