Woman’s Breast Cancer Detected By Thermal Imaging Scan At Tourist Attraction
IN PHOTO: Camera Obscura & World of Illusions
A woman claims she only discovered she had breast cancer after having her picture taken by a thermal imaging camera at a tourist attraction.
Bal Gill, 41, was visiting Camera Obscura and World of Illusions in Edinburgh during a family trip during the school holidays in May. One of the attractions is the Thermal Camera, installed in 2009, which lets customers see a heat map of their body.
But Ms Gill was alarmed to see a red heat patch over her left breast which didn’t appear on anyone else’s photo. She spotted the hot spot again while flicking through pictures at home and decided to book a doctor’s appointment before eventually being diagnosed with breast cancer.
Fortunately it was only in the very early stages and Ms Gill has thanked the museum for changing her life. She said that without the photo, she never would have known she had the illness.
"I visited with my family in May 2019 during the school holidays,’ she recalled. ‘We had been to Edinburgh Castle and on the way down we saw the museum. While making our way through the floors we got to the thermal imaging camera room. As all families do, we entered and started to wave our arms and look at the images created. While doing this I noticed a heat patch coming from my left breast. We thought it was odd and having looked at everyone else they didn’t have the same.'
Ms Gill said she took a photo of her map and carried on enjoying the attractions. It was only back at home a few days later that she saw it again while flicking through the holiday snaps. Ms Gill decided to Google what the hot spot might mean, only to be faced with ‘a lot of articles about breast cancer and thermal imaging cameras’.
"I made an appointment with the doctor and as it turns out I do have breast cancer, thankfully really early stages,’ she said.
"I have now had two surgeries and have one to go to prevent it from spreading. I just wanted to say thank you; without that camera I would never have known. I know it’s not the intention of the camera but for me it really was a life-changing visit. I cannot tell you enough about how my visit to the Camera Obscura changed my life."
Andrew Johnson, general manager of Camera Obscura and World of Illusions, said: "We did not realise that our Thermal Camera had the potential to detect life-changing symptoms in this way. We were really moved when Bal contacted us to share her story as breast cancer is very close to home for me and a number of our team. It’s amazing that Bal noticed the difference in the image and crucially acted on it promptly. We wish her all the best with her recovery and hope to meet her and her family in the future.’
Thermography, also called thermal imaging, is a tool used by breast cancer specialists and uses a special camera to measure the temperature of the skin on the breast’s surface.