A Google Trends™ Analysis of Bladder Cancer: Determining Awareness Campaign Success, and Patients’ Needs in Clinical Management

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Department of Urology, Aksaray University Training and Research Hospital, Aksaray, Turkey.

2 Department of Urology, Ankara Training and Research Hospital, Ankara, Turkey.


Objective: We aimed to determine the interest and changing trends over time in the diagnosis and treatment of bladder cancer and its awareness campaign by examining the Google Trends application as an indicator of people’s interest globally. Methods: Using the Google Trends application, we determined the yearly and country-based relative search volumes of the term “bladder tumor” and of the methods used in the diagnosis and treatment of bladder cancer in the period from January 2004 to December 2019. We compared the median relative search volumes found in the period 2004-2011 (Period 1) with those found in the period 2012-2019 (Period 2). Results: We found that the median relative search volume for bladder cancer decreased in period 2 and this was parallel to the decrease in the incidence rates in North America and Australia (p<0.001). We found that the bladder cancer awareness month did not cause an increase in the online interest (p>0.05). We found that the median relative search volumes of diagnostic cystoscopy and cytology were higher than those of molecular markers and imaging methods in line with guidelines (p<0.001). Also, TURBT was the most sought-term among treatment methods with increasing popularity in the second period (p<0.001). Conclusion: People use the internet intensively to search for information about bladder cancer. We think that several types of web-based applications such as “Google Trends” can help determine the behavioural patterns and tendencies of bladder cancer patients and affect the clinical decision-making processes, as well as readily determining the impact of cancer awareness campaigns to bring about an increased awareness in the society for the recognition of the importance of an early diagnosis.


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