Using Google Trends Data to Study Public Interest in Breast Cancer Screening in Malaysia

Document Type: Research Articles

Authors

Centre for Health and Applied Sciences, Faculty of Health Science, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Jalan Raja Muda Abdul Aziz, 50300 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Abstract

Objective: This study aims to investigate the public pattern in seeking breast cancer screening information in
Malaysia using Google Trends. Methods: The Google Trends database was evaluated for the relative Internet search
popularity of breast cancer and screening-related search terms from 2007 to 2018. Results: Result showed downward
trends in breast cancer search, whereas mammogram and tomosynthesis search fluctuated consistently. A significant
increment was found during Pink October month. Breast cancer search term achieved the highest popularity in the east
coast of Malaysia with [x2 (5, N=661) = 110.93, P<0.05], whereas mammogram attained the highest search volume in
central Malaysia [x2 (4, N=67) = 18.90, P<0.05]. The cross-correlation for breast cancer was moderate among northern
Malaysia, Sabah, and Sarawak (0.3 ≤ rs ≤ 0.7). Conclusion: Public interest trend in breast cancer screening is strongly
correlated with the breast cancer awareness campaign, Pink October. Breast cancer screening should be promoted in
the rural areas in Malaysia.

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