Introduction The analysis of log files of qualified websites has become recently a simple way to estimate the collective demand for health information. We analysed the access to the Brazilian National Cancer Institute (INCA) website to estimate the impact of perception of sun exposure in summer as well as the influence of national campaigns on the search for information about self-examination of the skin (SES).
Methods The INCA's website was selected by its popularity and volume of qualified information. We studied 4800 pages over 4 years (January 2006 to December 2009) by means of a log analyser to estimate the access to pages related to SES during institutional campaigns compared with the summer months in southern hemisphere.
Results The average number of hits in the summer months were 1037; 1609; 2275 and 2529 hits (2006 to 2009, respectively) indicating an audience below the annual average (1131; 2013; 2741; and 2827). On the other hand, there was more access to pages about SES in the months of the national campaigns (1710; 2640; 3722 and 3197 hits) surpassing the annual average.
Conclusions In Brazil, the perception of sun exposure during the summer months seems to be not sufficient to arouse great interest in the SSE. We affirm the opposite in relation to institutional campaigns, which seem to arouse more interest about skin cancer early detection on the internet.
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