Shahid Mahmood

Domain-specific physical activity and sedentary behaviour in relation to colorectal cancer risk and survival

S.Mahmood photo

Supervisors names: Dr Brigid Lynch, Prof Dallas English, Dr Robert Macinnis, Dr Emily Karahalios

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second most common incident cancer in Australia. Lifestyle factors play a pivotal role in the aetiology of this disease, and may account for up to two third of cases. There is convincing epidemiological evidence that physical activity reduces colorectal cancer risk, but previous research mainly focused on recreational activity, and to a lesser extent on occupational activity. Household and transport related physical activity have rarely been considered, despite activity in these domains being an important contributor to total physical activity in middle aged men and women. Moreover, given the low levels of recreational physical activity reported by working aged adults, it is important to ascertain if, and by how much, domain-specific physical activity contributes to the risk of colorectal cancer. The studies within my PhD project will investigate how physical activity across multiple domains contributes to CRC risk; and how domain-specific physical activity pre- and post-CRC diagnosis is associated with disease-specific survival. I will use data from the third wave of the Melbourne Collaborative Cohort Study (MCCS) to address these research questions. In addition, I am conducting a methodological study to validate the physical activity questionnaire used in the third wave of the MCCS.

PhD scholarship and funding body: Melbourne International Fee Remission Scholarship (MIFRS),
Melbourne International Research Scholarship (MIRS), The University of Melbourne