A catchy headline in the Daily Mail highlights “The Danger of Dr Google“, warning one in four women misdiagnose themselves using internet search engines.
A survey of 1,000 women by feminine health brand Balance Activ showed the internet was now the first port of call for women with health concerns.
Searching for symptoms online and self-medicating had led one in ten women to endure unpleasant side effects as a result of their misdiagnosis, the survey showed.
A fifth of those responding, had at some time wrongly suspected they had a serious disease, according to the Mail.
The most common false alarm came over breast cancer, while many women had wrongly diagnosed themselves as having thrush, high blood pressure or asthma.
The symptoms most likely to prompt women to consult the internet included sleep problems, headaches, depression and anxiety.
Also in the Mail, a new study suggests that a positive outlook on life helps keep your heart healthy.
Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health found that the most optimistic people were up to 50 per cent less likely to suffer a coronary or a stroke.
A review of more than 200 studies in two major scientific databases published online by the journal Psychological Bulletin found that individuals with a sense of wellbeing engaged in healthier behaviour such as exercising, eating a balanced diet and getting sufficient sleep.
Greater wellbeing was related to better biological function such as lower blood pressure, healthier blood fat profiles and normal body weight the researchers said.
A government plan to improve NHS language skills features in this morning´s Independent.
Some 500 “responsible officers” – senior doctors – at hospitals and other organisations will be tasked with checking language skills and doctors whose English is not up to scratch could be struck off, the paper says.
Quoted in The Independent, Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said the moves, being put out for consultation, would help protect patients.
“It is absolutely crucial that we get this right,” he said. “Clearly if a doctor can’t speak proper English then they won’t be able to communicate effectively with their patients.
“This will create proper accountability and will leave no-one in any doubt about our desire to protect patients.”
The Guardian says the NHS needs to do more to help the homeless -many of whom struggle to register with a GP and gain access to health services.
A new NHS Confederation report featured in the paper says health services need to “up their game” to respond to rising levels of homelessness and people sleeping rough as the recession lingers and benefit cuts begin to bite.
Among a clutch of health headlines in today´s Daily Telegraph is a report that NICE has turned down Avastin as first line treatment for advanced breast cancer.
The drug, also known as bevacizumab – which costs more than £3,500 per patient per month – stops progression of the disease for an average of three months but there was no evidence to suggest if this meant women actually lived longer if they were given it, a spokesman for Nice told the Telegraph.
There was also no data to show if patients would have a better quality of life than if they were treated with chemotherapy alone, NICE said.