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Tourist photo leads to cancer diagnosis

A British woman discovered she has breast cancer after spotting an unusual heat coming from her chest on a thermal imaging camera at a Scottish tourist attraction.

Bal Gill was at Camera Obscura & World of Illusions in Edinburgh in May with her family and took a photo of the thermal image after noticing a red heat patch radiating from her left breast.

Thinking the uneven heat was "odd" compared with other people, Gill carried out an internet search on thermal imaging cameras and found out they can be used by oncologists to help diagnose cancers.

She then made an appointment with her doctor.

The 41-year-old, from Berkshire, was diagnosed with breast cancer at the "really early stages" and is now waiting for a third operation to try to prevent the disease from spreading.

She has now contacted the visitor attraction on Edinburgh's Royal Mile to tell them "how my visit to the Camera Obscura changed my life".

In a letter to the Camera Obscura & World of Illusions, Gill wrote: "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."

She added: "A few days later when we returned home I was flicking through my pictures and I saw the image.

"At this point, I searched on Google to see what this could mean and I saw 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.

"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."

© PAA 2019