TA Palani shared this photo of Ras Al Khaimah taken during a road trip over Eid Al Fitr. Email your photos to firstname.lastname@example.org or tag @7DAYSUAE on social media
t took me roughly five minutes to come to the conclusion I had cancer. It started with a dodgy mole. Then a persistant cough. Finally, I began having headaches. Like any sensible grown-up I knew there was only one thing to do about such symptoms, Google them. So I searched for symptoms of skin cancer to see if headaches and coughs were a sign. They weren’t. Undeterred, I clicked on metastasis, perhaps the cancer had spread? Lo and behold when I typed headache, cough and cancer into Google, I discovered my skin cancer had moved to the lung. I am 44, don’t smoke and was sat at my desk wondering how my children would get on without a father. Of course, I didn’t have cancer, just a dodgy mole, which the doctor later removed. After drinking more water, the headache went away and the cough was, well, a cough. The web is undoubtedly one of the greatest discoveries of the past century, but while it can be a valuable tool, it can also be a dangerous weapon. I hadn’t been visiting cooky sites with names like wikidisease.com or whatcancerdoIhave.co.uk, I’d gone to trusted, authorative organisations. Then I completely ignored 98 per cent of what I read, focussing only on information that supported my paranoia-fuelled self-diagnosis. Of course, I’m not alone, we all do it. Nor is this something new. Before the internet, people would flick through medical encyclopedias. However, it is worrying how easy it is now to self-diagnose. Of course, in my case, I wasn’t about to nip to the pharmacy for a box of chemo. However, there are plenty of instances where people have popped pills that did more harm than good. For example, did you know that if you take aspirin every day, it can cause stomach bleeding? Or taking the wrong anti-biotic can actually make it harder to treat an infection? There are even instances of people committing suicide rather than face a terminal illness they never had. I will certainly think twice in the future before going all House MD again. Why? because, as they say, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.