Aim: Most patients with cancers and cancer survivors use the internet to obtain health information and support each other. Our aim was evaluate whether relationships exist between the information prevalences and search volumes of terms related to various cancers and their actual incidence and mortality figures in the USA and the UK. Methods: The information prevalences and search volumes of English terms related to various cancers were obtained using the Google search engine and Google Adwords. These data were plotted against actual cancer incidence and mortality data obtained using UK and USA cancer databases. Results: Breast cancer and melanoma were outliers, with greater levels of information available than expected from their incidence and mortality alone. Conversely, there were disparities between the information prevalences and actual incidences of colorectal and prostate cancers, both in the USA and the UK, indicative of lower levels of information availability online for these cancers. Conclusion: Disparities in health care-related information exist for some tumor types with similar incidence and mortality. Disparities in virtual health care information may also exist in reality. Infodemiological studies might be useful for planning public health measures to increase the knowledge and attitudes of the general population towards treatable or preventable diseases. (C) 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Find related publications in this database (Keywords)Cancer