Breast Cancer Awareness Month

1 out of every 8 women is diagnosed with breast cancer. Unfortunately, more and more women are convincing themselves they have breast cancer after Googling different symptoms.

Irene’s Story

Irene (24 years old) recently experienced a pain in her right breast. The pain worsened within a couple hours and she decided to google ‘Breast Pain’.

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With the top 5 search options including the ‘C’ word – Irene immediately panicked! Irene and her mum worried for 2 days before she decided to visit the doctor. Thankfully, the doctor confirmed her Google Diagnosis was incorrect and she was in fact experiencing a side effect from the contraceptive pill.

It is vital for women to know the difference between breast cancer facts and fiction. Don’t believe everything you read on Google. Especially when searching a keyword featuring ‘breast’ – the ‘C’ word appears in every link. To avoid further anxiety and stress, here’s a list of 8 Busted Breast Cancer Myths:

  1. Wearing an underwire bra WILL NOT increase your chances of Breast Cancer
  2. Not all breast lumps are cancerous: 80% of lumps are benign, cysts or other conditions
  3. Women with breast implants are not at higher risk of breast cancer
  4. Wearing antiperspirant does not increase your chances of breast cancer
  5. There is no correlation between the size of your breasts and breast cancer
  6. Breast cancer doesn’t always come in the form of a lump
  7. Being overweight does increase your chance of breast cancer
  8. Abortions do not raise your chance of breast cancer

Don’t let the web, get to your head!

Stop Dr Google

How is Google affecting our Heart?

Today is World Heart Day! Today is about educating society on how to be healthy in order to live longer; whether it is keeping fit, eating the right foods or timely sleep patterns.

However, with the rise of DR Google users – today is also a reminder to stress less. We are constantly connected to our mobiles, laptops or tablets. We are constantly on the move, whilst simultaneously connected to our work, our schooling or our family via mobile technologies. Every day stresses are on the rise with the consistent need to have a healthy work-life-friend-family balance. We urge ourselves to fit as much as we can into every day of our lives, without taking note on how it is affecting our health.

All these social pressures are contributing to the recent increase in DR Google users! People find excuses to not visit a real doctor (whether it is due to work, sport, family, education or friend commitments). Instead they visit DR Google.

Starcevic & Berle suggest people these days seek medical information online as it’s faster than making a doctors appointment and waiting in a doctor’s surgery. The accessibility of mobile technologies makes ‘googling’ symptoms easy, as individuals want real-time information (ABC). But what is this doing to your heart.

DR Google can often provide the worst-case scenarios to patients; giving these patients heightened levels of stress and anxiety. This is not good for your health, and certainly not good for your heart.

Celebrate World Heart Day today by telling a friend to not Google his/her health symptoms. You may save their heart.

Don’t let the web, get to your head!

Stop Dr Google.

Sources:

ABC News 2011, ABC News, accessed 25 August 2015, <http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/3198312.html>

Starcevic, V., & Berle, D. (2013). Cyberchondria: towards a better understanding of excessive health-related Internet use.

What is STOP DR GOOGLE?

Stop Dr Google is a blog dedicated to educating young adults on the facts of cyberchondria, the dangers of self-diagnosis online, tips for those who wish to self-diagnose, and real-life stories of people who’ve experienced cyberchondria.

But first…you may we wondering, WHAT IS CYBERCHONDRIA?

Have you ever experienced a bad headache?

You may have googled ‘bad headache’ if it carried on for a couple days. Within five minutes, you learn that you have a migraine…OR, you’re suffering from chronic headaches (which is hereditary)…OR WAIT, Google jut diagnosed you with brain cancer! You’re in a panic…screaming at your family to come to the computer and read this tragic news. You call your best friend to tell her you love her. Your stress and anxiety levels escalate as you realise you need to book in to see a neurologist immediately! You don’t have time to waste…Google just said you’re dying!

This is cyberchondria.

When Dr Google (our 21st century go-to genius technology) convinces someone they have a health issue or disease after searching medical websites and they experience heightened levels of anxiety.

You can’t deny it; we’ve all googled a health symptom at least once. BUT, what we seem to forget is that Google doesn’t have face-to-face interaction with us, nor does Google know our medical history. We forget Google is powered by search-engine-optimised websites, biasely designed to show us the most talked about, most search for, most interesting and most popular diseases.

Stop Dr Google is here to remind you… ‘Don’t let the web, get to your head’.