Half of health searches on Google return cancer diagnosis – study

Half of all attempts to self diagnose an illness using Google could leave people fearing they have cancer, a study reveals.

Some 47 per cent of searches for an illness — such as headache — returned at least one result for the disease on the first page.

Doctors warn that information online can be ­unreliable and increase anxiety.

Researchers from medical firm, Bupa, found half of the search results for constipation and one in three for sore throat suggested cancer.

Brits google cancer-related words, including tumour, 1.5 million times a month — once every 1.7 seconds.

The most searched — pancreatic, skin and bowel cancer — share symptoms with many other conditions.

Six in 10 of persons admit using internet search engines to help identify an illness. But half do not visit a GP after browsing online, the Bupa poll found.

Many fear wasting the doctor’s time or are too scared.

Prof. Helen Stokes-Lampard, of the Royal College of GPs, said websites like NHS Choices, are reputable.

She added: “Dr. Google is not a trained professional. There is a lot of misleading health information out there.”

Source: today.ng

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