Analysis of the Filipinos’ Interest in Searching Online for Oral Cancer

Document Type : Research Articles


1 School of Dentistry, Southwestern University PHINMA, Cebu, Philippines.

2 Department of Stomatognathic Function and Occlusal Reconstruction, Tokushima University Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Tokushima, Japan.


Objective: This study analyzed the health-seeking behavior of Filipinos using Google Trends tool to quantify relative search volume by term . Oral cancer, mouth cancer, tongue cancer, gum cancer, and lip cancer were used as predetermined search terms. Material and method: Comma-separated values file containing relative search volumes of search trends pertaining to oral cancer from 2009 to 2019 were assessed. Brown-Forsythe one-way ANOVA was used to measure differences with respect to oral cancer across different years and months. Two-way repeated measures ANOVA was applied to detect differences regarding mouth cancer, tongue cancer, gum cancer, and lip cancer across the years. Time series models were fitted and used to forecast search interests. Results: The results revealed that interest in oral cancer was significantly higher in 2019 (43.75±5.5, p <0.05) compared to 2009 (29.0 ± 6.7). In terms of months, searches were higher in February (45.0 ± 6.6) compared to May (24.8 ± 3.4, p=0.015), June (25.3 ± 4.4, p=0.020), and December (26.5 ± 4.0, p=0.038). Search interests for gum cancer and lip cancer remained significantly lower from 2011 to 2019, and tongue cancer from 2016 to 2018 but approximated mouth cancer in 2019. The forecast showed that mouth cancer (31.67%), tongue cancer (23.75%), and lip cancer (3.83%) would fluctuate through time pass, while gum cancer (8%) would remain steady in 2020. Conclusion: Health-seeking behavior through search trends showed an increased interest in oral cancer in 2019 and during February. It was anticipated that search interests would fluctuate in 2020, but at the end of the year would decrease for mouth cancer and tongue cancer, increase for lip cancer, and remain steady for gum cancer.


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