- 21 June 2018
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Thursday 21 June 2018, 1.00 PM
Auditorium, Level 6, Bancroft Building
Using large-scale data linkage for cancer epidemiology – big opportunities, big challenges
Dr Susan Jordan,
Cancer Causes and Care,
QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute
Administrative data (e.g. hospital morbidity, pharmaceutical benefits, Medicare) are rich sources of health information but in Australia they have not been readily accessible for research on a large scale until relatively recently. Now, linkage of State and Commonwealth health datasets is feasible and supported. The size, population coverage and longitudinal nature of the datasets mean they provide a powerful resource for epidemiological research, including for investigating questions about cancer aetiology, survival and health service use. We have several ongoing studies using these resources. The first study was motivated by work we did showing that the association between hysterectomy and ovarian cancer risk appeared to have changed over time. We devised a longitudinal cohort using de-identified linked data to assess this association and other long-term health consequences of having a hysterectomy. A second project, undertaken in collaboration with clinicians from the PAH aimed to examine the rate of cancer screening in people with severe mental illness compared to the general population. The aim of the third study is to investigate the association between use of specific chronic disease medicines (e.g. β-blockers) and risk of and survival from ovarian cancer. Results, implications and challenges will be discussed.
After graduating in Medicine from the University of NSW, Susan worked in clinical practice for over twelve years (mostly general practice) before commencing her PhD through the University of Queensland and QIMR. After the award of her PhD, she held post doc positions at The School of Population Health UQ and subsequently QIMR Berghofer supported by NHMRC early career and career development fellowships. In 2015 she became a team head and formed the Cancer Causes and Care group. Susan leads a program of research which aims to increase knowledge of causes of cancer and to investigate variations in patient care and outcomes. She leads projects on ovarian, kidney and thyroid cancers examining both aetiology and patterns of care in the Australian setting.