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

Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2019 May 25;20(5):1427-1432. doi: 10.31557/APJCP.2019.20.5.1427.


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.

Keywords: Breast cancer; mammogram; tomosynthesis; breast cancer screening; early detection of cancer.

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Breast Neoplasms / psychology
  • Early Detection of Cancer / psychology
  • Early Detection of Cancer / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Information Seeking Behavior*
  • Internet / statistics & numerical data*
  • Malaysia
  • Mammography / statistics & numerical data*
  • Prognosis
  • Search Engine / trends*