Background: The aim of this research was to characterise the interest on the most frequent cancers in Peru through Google Trends, its geographic and temporal relationship with massive awareness campaigns.
Methods: A temporal trends analysis for the last 5 years was carried out, comparing the Relative Search Volume (RSV) with the dates of mass cancer awareness campaigns in Peru. Google Trends application was used to evaluate the interest in the topics: breast, prostate, cervical stomach and colorectal cancer between 1 January 2016 and 31 December 2020, expressed in RSV. The annual RSV for each neoplasm was compared, as well as its annual variation using the Kruskal–Wallis test. The correlation between the RSV and the estimated incidence for each province was measured using the Spearman test.
Results: The topics with the highest RSV were breast (median: 20, range: 6–100) and prostate cancer (median: 28, range: 9–48). The topic ‘breast cancer’ showed a cyclical punctual increase in October, its awareness month. Searches for cervical, stomach and colorectal cancer were smaller and did not show peaks of interest. It was observed that the RSV was variable when compared with previous years (p < 0.05 for all the evaluated topics). Geographically, different provincial configurations of interest were observed according to neoplasia. When correlating the RSV with the incidence by province, a non-significant positive correlation (p > 0.05) was found for breast, cervical and colorectal cancer.
Conclusions: This study suggests a positive temporal correlation between RSV and awareness cancer campaigns in Peru specially to breast cancer and, to a lesser extent, prostate cancer. Significant variations of interest were demonstrated for each neoplasm among the evaluated years. No significant correlation was found between the incidence rate and the average RSV among Peruvian provinces.