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

Document Type : Research Articles


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


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.


Main Subjects