A woman who visited a popular museum in Scotland has revealed how the “life-changing” trip led her to discover she had breast cancer.
Bal Gill, 41, visited the Camera Obscura & World of Illusions in Edinburgh May with her family.
The popular tourist attraction provides 360-degree panoramic views over the city and interactive thermal imaging displays, allowing visitors to see heat spots all over their body.
However, Gill was left concerned after taking a photo with the thermal camera and seeing a red patch over her left breast.
After returning home to Berkshire, she made an appointment with her GP where she was diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer.
She has since had two surgeries to remove the cancer. She is recovering well.
In a statement on the official Camera Obscura website, Gill said: “I visited with my family in May 2019 during the school holidays. 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 (red in colour) coming from my left breast. We thought it was odd and having looked at everyone else they didn’t have the same. I took a picture and we carried on and enjoyed the rest of the museum.
“A few days later when we returned home I was flicking through my pictures and I saw the image.”
Gill said she began researching on Google to see what the red patch could mean and came across a number of articles about breast cancer and thermal imaging cameras.
Thermal imaging is a non-invasive tool used by breast cancer specialists to measure the temperature of the skin on the breast’s surface.
She continued: “I made an appointment with the doctor and as it turns out I do have breast cancer, thankfully really early stages. I have now had two surgeries and have one to go to prevent it from spreading.”
The mom thanked the museum for helping her to make the startling discovery, adding: “I cannot tell you enough about how my visit to the Camera Obscura changed my life.”
Andrew Johnson, General Manager of Camera Obscura & World of Illusions said he was unaware that thermal cameras could detect cancer.
“We did not realize 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”, he said.
Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in the UK and around 55,000 women are diagnosed with the disease every year, according to Cancer Research UK.