In 2019 we began the first round of follow-up of all participants who completed the baseline questionnaires. Follow up will proceed on a rolling basis over 2019 to 2021, based on the year in which participants completed baseline components, so that each participant is followed up approximately 3 years following study participation.
Follow - up Questionnaire
Each participant will be asked to complete two online questionnaires. Some of the questions will update information and some will ask about topics not previously covered.
- The “Health and Activities” questionnaire asks about general health, body size, smoking, diabetes, sun exposure and daily activities.
- The “Beverages” questionnaire asks about the consumption of all types of beverages including alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks (water, dairy and non- dairy milks, soft-drink, coffee, tea).
Faecal (poo) sample
Participants will also be invited to provide a poo sample for the study. A sampling kit will be sent out in the post that can be completed at home and returned via post.
Poo samples offer a means of assessing the gut microbiome – the community of microorganisms (e.g. bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites), and their metabolic products, that inhabit the human body. This will enable research into the association of the gut microbiome with lifestyle factors and cancer and other disease outcomes.
As part of follow-up we will be inviting those who have not yet already provided a blood sample to do so. Blood samples are provided at a local pathology clinic at no cost to participants.
Blood samples will allow the researchers to examine a wider range of measures (plasma proteins, vitamins, phospholipid membrane fatty acids, C reactive protein, circulating endogenous hormones) in addition to DNA. This allows them to analyse whether biomarkers (eg. hormones, markers of inflammation), or certain drugs or micronutrients (eg. aspirin, vitamins) have associations with cancer that vary depending on a person’s underlying genetic risk.
Periodically, information about participants may be collected by Cancer Council Victoria from their records held by various service providers. We also collect information about participants from other organisations to update and verify our records without needing to contact them too often. With consent, we obtain information from:
- State and Territory Cancer Registries
- The Australian Cancer Database
- The National Death Index
- Other health databases, both public and private