CC BY 4.0 · Journal of Health and Allied Sciences NU 2023; 13(03): 373-379
DOI: 10.1055/s-0042-1756479
Original Article

Trend Analysis of Global Web Searches (2004–2022) on Oral Cancer and Its Major Risk Factors

1   Oral Health Working Group (Health Students Research Network), School of Health and Life Sciences, Teesside University, Middlesbrough, United Kingdom
2   Campaign for Head and Neck Cancer Education (CHANCE) Programme, Cephas Health Research Initiative Inc, Ibadan, Nigeria
Afeez Abolarinwa Salami
2   Campaign for Head and Neck Cancer Education (CHANCE) Programme, Cephas Health Research Initiative Inc, Ibadan, Nigeria
3   Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria
Jacob Njideka Nwafor
2   Campaign for Head and Neck Cancer Education (CHANCE) Programme, Cephas Health Research Initiative Inc, Ibadan, Nigeria
4   Department of Medicine, Nottingham University Hospital NHS Trust, Nottingham, United Kingdom
Charles Adetokunbo Olomo
2   Campaign for Head and Neck Cancer Education (CHANCE) Programme, Cephas Health Research Initiative Inc, Ibadan, Nigeria
5   Department of Oral Pathology/Oral Medicine, University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria
6   School of Health and Life Sciences, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, United Kingdom
1   Oral Health Working Group (Health Students Research Network), School of Health and Life Sciences, Teesside University, Middlesbrough, United Kingdom
› Author Affiliations
Funding None.


Background Oral cancer is the 15th leading cause of mortality globally. The Internet is an online source of information pertaining to oral cancer and its major risk factors. This study aims to analyze the trend of global online interest on oral cancer and its major risk factors through an analysis of web searches of oral cancer.

Materials and Methods This study analyzed the web searches conducted, from 2004 to January 2022, on oral cancer and its major risk factors (tobacco use, harmful alcohol use, and human papillomavirus [HPV] infection) using data obtained from Google Trends.

Results Within the time frame under study, oral cancer had multiple peak search periods, with the highest relative search volume index (SVI) for a period being 1; the peak search period for alcohol was March 2020 (SVI = 100); the peak search periods for tobacco were March to April 2004 (SVI = 17); and the peak search period of HPV was April 2004 (SVI = 1). Globally, alcohol was the most common searched term among these four terms (oral cancer, alcohol, tobacco, and HPV) except in Turkey where tobacco was the most common (55%) searched term. The top 25 search queries for oral cancer, HPV, tobacco, and alcohol had SVI ranges of 22 to 100, 12 to 100, 28 to 100, and 18 to 100, respectively. From these search queries, it was observed that people have interest in oral cancer symptomatology, and the adverse effects of tobacco, alcohol, and HPV.

Conclusion This study revealed an overall decline in the online interest on oral cancer and its major risk factors on a global scale.

Publication History

Article published online:
06 October 2022

© 2022. The Author(s). This is an open access article published by Thieme under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, permitting unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction so long as the original work is properly cited. (

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