I love these kinds of stories when something that was made for one purpose ends up being “accidentally” used for something else. In this recent article (Woman Diagnosed with Breast Cancer After It Was Detected by Tourist Attraction’s Thermal Camera), Bal Gill was on vacation and had her picture taken with a thermal camera (one that shows heat). The picture showed an unusual heat patch on her left breast. She followed up with her doctor (and most likely had a mammogram to confirm) and learned that she was in the early stages of breast cancer.
While a thermal camera is not a replacement for a mammogram (Woman says thermal camera spotted breast cancer. Not so fast, experts say.), it is the kind of detail that could be used in a story to provide a clue, early hint or make a character think twice — how often do we ignore what our bodies are telling us?
I also saw this article (Can dogs detect cancer?) about how dog’s incredible sense of smell can be used to detect melanoma, breast and lung cancer. Which I thought was also an interesting idea.
What if a woman without a history of breast cancer starts to have these experiences where a thermal camera shows a weird hot patch on her right breast and her dog keeps pawing at her right breast. Little clues that lead to an early diagnosis form her doctor.
What about a dog who starts nuzzling strangers in public and it turns out that those people are in the early stages of cancer. Maybe some haven’t been diagnosed yet?
A medical student starts training dogs at the shelter that he volunteers at on how to detect diseases. Making these adoptable pets “in-demand.”
A class picture taken with a thermal camera shows weird heat patches on 4 of the students. After further testing all 4 students have (cancer/some disease) and the parents sue the school for exposing their children.
An employee at a thermal imaging company accidentally uncovers a plan to make the company indispensable in tracking a disease throughout the city because the company created it.
Who wants to talk more about how you can use this idea in your current or next story?
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