Tourist discovered own breast cancer while viewing interactive heat cam exhibition
"Without that camera, I would never have known."
A tourist who discovered her own breast cancer while viewing an interactive heat cam exhibition has called the experience "life-changing."
41-year-old Bal was visiting the Camera Obscura and World of Illusions exhibition in Edinburgh earlier this year when a photo she took on a heat cam showed that her left breast was glowing red.
Bal later looked up why this could be and discovered that some oncologists use heat cams for early detection of breast cancer.
She made an appointment and was diagnosed soon after.
"As all families do, we entered and started to wave our arms and look at the images created," said Bal.
"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."
After her diagnosis, Bal had two surgeries - and one upcoming - to prevent the cancer from spreading.
"I just wanted to say thank you: without that camera, I would never have known," she said.
"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.”
General manager of the exhibition, Andrew Johnson, said they "did not realise" that the heat cam could detect breast cancer in its early stages.
"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," he said.
"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.”