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All TopicsForum: Living Without Reconstruction After a Mastectomy → Topic: Full body scanners and foobs

Topic: Full body scanners and foobs

Forum: Living Without Reconstruction After a Mastectomy — Discuss prostheses, swimsuits, bras, and other options for women not having reconstruction or waiting for reconstruction.

Posted on: Aug 21, 2010 12:50PM

OLBinNJ wrote:

I have some concerns about privacy with the full body scanners.  I imagine that foobs will show up, and I'm not so sure the TSA will know what they are.  Will I be pulled aside and patted down?  If so, how private will it be?  If it's private, I would be willing to "flash" by foob, but how do I then explain to my traveling companions who have no idea about my breast cancer (and no need to know), why I was pulled aside?  Should I just opt out of the scanner and go for the pat down from the get go?  Has anyone had any experience with these new scanners?

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Aug 21, 2010 02:39PM kira1234 wrote:

I have a dear friend who just ran into this problem. She spoke to a female attendent about her foobs and was assured she would take care of it. Well long story short when she went through a male attendent checked the scanner, and made her stop while he ran the scanner device over her. She was so upset about the whole thing. All I can say is the airports need to train their people better.

Karen

Dx 6/2010, ILC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/8/2010 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Right, Sentinel Radiation Therapy 8/3/2010 Hormonal Therapy 10/5/2010 Aromasin (exemestane) Dx 2/2017, ILC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right
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Aug 21, 2010 07:57PM mawhinney wrote:

I have been wondering about the full body scanners and my implant reconstruction.  So many gals today have had breast enhancement or reconstruction that I hope the airlines have trained there staff how to properly handle the situation & to protect our privacy.  In fact there are  many implantable  medical devices - pacemakers, stents, ports, cathers, hear aids , metal pins and plates to name a few.  It will be interesting to see how reliable and workable the full body scanners will be.  I guess we could carry letters or ID cards from our doctors or the 'parts" manufacturer but that type of ID is easily forged.

Dx 5/18/2008, IDC, <1cm, Stage IB, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Aug 23, 2010 02:32PM - edited Aug 23, 2010 02:33PM by lovemygarden

The microbead foobs that are described in one of the other threads have nothing in them that can set off a scanner. They're reasonably priced (for foobs!) and so if you fly a lot you might want to consider getting them to wear for travel days. They're wonderfully light and comfy too!  Laughing

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Aug 24, 2010 03:09PM Anne888 wrote:

I've been concerned about this ever since they first started to talk about full body scanners.  I already have to go through the full "pat down" since I have a total knee replacement (courtesy of Femara).  This is always done in a glass enclosure in full view of everyone going through the security checkpoint.  BTW, I do have an ID card from the dr., but it's useless because it could easily be forged.  Since full body scanners aren't checking for metal, just an image of your body, I don't see how the composition of the foobie matters.  Seems like the microbead kind would show up on a scanner the same as silicone.  I wish there was more information available on this whole issue. 

Dx 3/2001, DCIS, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Aug 24, 2010 04:55PM OLBinNJ wrote:

Wow, a pat down in a glass enclosure!  Is there no sensitivity at all?  I'm really not happy about all this.  I had thought that maybe I would just refuse the full body scan and ask for a pat down, but now I don't know.  Of course, I would probably get the pat down even if I do the scan.  I wouldn't mind being wanded, that's not too intrusive or humiliating.  It makes me want to just stay home!

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Aug 24, 2010 05:00PM Leah_S wrote:

If you ask for a private pat-down, they are required to do it in a private room(and privte doesn't mean glass-enclosed). They won't suggest it but you can.

Leah

Dx 11/3/2008, IDC, 1cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, 6/17 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Aug 24, 2010 09:06PM mbtlcsw01 wrote:

I went thru one of those G-d awful machines in July flying out of Tampa.  Oh yes, I was pulled aside and asked if I had something around my waist.  My foobs are placed age appropriately for me, but NOT around my waistYellAnyway, I was patted down/felt up by a woman.  I made alot of noise about being humiliated after already having to lose my breasts to cancer.  I embarassed her which was my intention.  I was offered a private place, after it was all over.  From now on, if I realize I will have to go thru one of those devices, I will step out of line and asked to go to a private place to be "screened."  Implants have serial numbers on them.  They can see that.
Mary Dx 10/16/2008, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Aug 25, 2010 04:30PM Erica wrote:

Apparently, even some women with implants are being pulled aside for pat-downs -- I read a complaint about that on another thread. Hopefully, TSA will become more knowledgeable about implants and prostheses and things will get better.

So far, at Logan Airport in Boston, I've been able to choose between the older machine and the new one and have (of course) chosen the old one. But my plan is to do what OLBinNJ mentioned -- tell them I want to bypass the machine and let them pat me down. I'm not terribly modest. Just how invasive are those pat downs, though?

BreastFree.org (breastfree.org); BreastFree Blog (breastfree.blogspot.com); Twitter @BreastFree
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Aug 25, 2010 04:59PM BoobsinaBox wrote:

Back when I still had breasts, I was pulled aside for special treatment.  They offered me a "private" room, but I declined, because I didn't intend to get out of sight of my husband.  I had no idea that a woman would go beyond wanding me.  She actually stood in front of me, placed her palms under my breasts with the thumbs on one side and the fingers on the other of each breast and pushed up.  I'd have slapped anyone else silly who tried that with me, but I needed to get on the plane to fly home!  There is NO way to avoid being embarrassed or humiliated with these machines and unintelligent officials.  I've decided they will just have to be as embarrassed as I am, maybe more so, because I am not ashamed of my breast-free status.  I HATE flying now!

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Aug 25, 2010 07:13PM lovemygarden wrote:

Wow, I had no idea that things at airports had gotten so crazy! The last time I flew was about eight months after 9/11 and the only new rules were a limit on the number of carryon pieces, and also that you couldn't have things like nail clippers in your carryon bag (I had to throw away a brand-new pair because I didn't know about that, and didn't have time to fetch my already-checked suitcase).  There was just the old walkthrough portal although now I think of it, I was unpleasantly surprised that I had to take off my shoes to step through it. That annoyed me bigtime but  apparantly is nothing to what they put travelers through nowadays!

 I used to like to fly but as I've gotten older I have lost all of my patience with what I call "all that airport crap" and it's no longer worth it to me. So nowadays if it's not someplace within a 5 or 6 hour's drive (one way), I have no desire to go. I did a decent amount of traveling in the US and Europe while I was in my 20s and 30s anyway, so I've been there/done that while I still had the patience and energy to really enjoy it and shrug off the hassles. I don't even like staying in hotels anymore, haven't for years and years! The only "bucket list" place I'd like to visit is Australia, but the prospect of 15 hours in a plane gives me the shudders. Just not worth  it if I can't get into my own car, buckle up, and get from Point A to Point B on my own terms.

If I did ever absolutely HAVE TO fly at some point in the future, I just wouldn't wear foobs. Heck, I don't even wear them 90% of time anyway! Wink 

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Aug 25, 2010 09:48PM BoobsinaBox wrote:

I have a friend with bilat who doesn't wear foobs and gets patted down every time she flies, by the same people at her home airport.  There is no excuse for it!

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Aug 26, 2010 05:34PM Chicago1018 wrote:

I've been through the full body scanner and the metal detector at O'Hare and had not issue either time.  I know the TE's have a small peice of metal on them that can set off a metal detector but mine didn't. I also flew in a surgical camisole with a foob and had no trouble. 

Makes you wonder if these things even work to hear how different our experiences are!

Dx 11/17/2009, IDC, 5cm, Grade 2, 0/0 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Aug 26, 2010 08:21PM jenn1975 wrote:

 Just an FYI for future reference for prothetic flyers:

I'm flying in 2 weeks so I called the TSA to ask this question. I explained to them that I had a bilateral mastectomy and that I had prosthetics that I would be wearing. I told them that I would only have a carry on bag and that I had a 2nd pair of prosthetics (swim ones)that I needed to take and that they would be in my bag. I asked them if I needed to put those ones in a plastic baggy like you do your liquids since they are silicone. After being on hold for a while she came back and told me that I needed to alert the screener that they were in my bag and that I could just go ahead and ask for a private screening.

Jenn

Dx 1/15/2010, IDC, <1cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, 21/21 nodes, mets, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Aug 28, 2010 09:50AM OLBinNJ wrote:

Aside from the inevitable pat down after scanning my one foob/one boob chest, I also have concerns about the amount of radiation from the scanners.  Everyone says it is minimal, but it is in addition to the many weeks of daily radiation, including one week of "booster" amounts of radiation, that I had.  I just don't like the idea of any more radiation than I really need.  So, I plan to ask for a private pat down/feel up.  I'm a private person, but if the pat down is done in private, I'll "show them what I'm made of".  I usually wear my silicone foob, and pack my leisure forms, that I use for working out and swimming, in my carry on.  I have seen the screeners ask other screeners to take a look at them, but they have always eventually just let my bag through.

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Aug 28, 2010 10:09AM ktym wrote:

Just went through Detroit and Nashville airports.  I did ask to go through the medical needs line.  Between LE and neuropathy I just don't move fast through the lines taking off shoes, getting out laptops etc and its frustrating for anyone behind me.  TSA agents both airports were kind and I didn't have any problems (they didn't have full body scanners, though, just the metal detectors).  They didn't give me a problem about my LE sleeve which surprised me.  Maybe they just figured someone with a bag of meds that big to declare had enough problems.

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Sep 10, 2010 12:48AM SusaninSF wrote:

I travel a lot both domestically and internationally and I always travel with at least two silicone forms, one in my bag, and one on my body.  So far, as far as I'm aware, I haven't had to go through a body scannner and I've only had my bag searched once because of the form in it.  I worried a lot about the increase in body scanners but I haven't seen many.

Mets to brain, lung, eye, femur bone. Dx 2000, DCIS, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 8/31/2000 Lumpectomy: Left, Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel; Reconstruction (right) Dx 2008, DCIS, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 3/2/2008 Mastectomy: Right Dx 3/29/2014, 4cm, Stage IV, Grade 2, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 3/31/2014 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Radiation Therapy 4/28/2014 External: Brain Chemotherapy 10/30/2014 Xeloda (capecitabine) Radiation Therapy 1/8/2015 External: Bone Radiation Therapy 6/6/2016 External Hormonal Therapy 11/16/2016 Faslodex (fulvestrant) Targeted Therapy 12/21/2016 Ibrance (palbociclib)
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Oct 11, 2010 09:52PM SAMayoFL wrote:

I am new to this site and new to BC.  What in the world is a foob?

Susan BRCA2+. AC+T finished on 03/23/2011. No rads. Bi-lateral DIEP 08/03/11 (one side immediate one side delayed). 11/05/12 mets to ovaries, uterus and peritoneum. Dx 9/15/2010, ILC, 4cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 4/11 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/27/2010 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Right Chemotherapy 11/3/2010 Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Hormonal Therapy 4/1/2011 Femara (letrozole) Surgery 8/3/2011 Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap Dx 11/5/2012, ILC, Stage IV, Grade 3, 0/0 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 11/21/2012 Abraxane (albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel)
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Oct 12, 2010 12:21AM Beesie wrote:

A foob is a fake boob. 

Dx 9/15/05, DCIS-MI, 6cm+ Gr3 DCIS w/IDC microinvasion, Stage IA, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR- “No power so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear.” Edmund Burke
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Oct 12, 2010 09:14AM ktn wrote:

I just flew home through Amsterdam after a trip and had to do the body scanner. After I walked through she took the wand and waved it by my chest area and sent me on my way. I've already had reconstruction and implants. I also travelled with expanders in without problem.

Dx 6/18/2008, ILC, 5cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 9/24 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Oct 12, 2010 11:48AM Roadrunner wrote:

I posted on this board last summer after being flagged by a full body scanner at Boston Logan. At that time I explained that I have a silicon implant and I was patted down in a private space at my request. I wrote to the TSA complaining but received no reply. Last week, the first time I've flown since then, it happened again. This time I was flying alone and I had no one to watch my handbag, computer and suitcase, all of which were left on the belt, with my back to them, as I was publicly patted down, even though I had very calmly and politely explained that I had post-mastectomy implant. Then I was further subjected to the hand inspection (with wands and gloved hands by TSA employee) for residuals of explosive powders. I had hoped that between last May and this month that TSA would have made some attempt to educate screeners and determine what surgical implants look like on the screen, but it appears that things have gotten worse, not better.

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Oct 12, 2010 12:24PM Roadrunner wrote:

Oops -- my apologies for posting on this board. I just did a search for the full body scanner issue and didn't notice I was replying to a post in the Reconstruction Alternative Forum! No disrespect intended!

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Oct 12, 2010 01:01PM otter wrote:

Hey, Roadrunner, no problem!  I think any experiences involving full-body scanners and breasts of any sort would likely be welcome in this thread.  :)

I have no idea what will happen the first time I'm confronted with one of those scanners.  It hasn't happened yet; but I don't fly nearly as often as I did pre-TSA.  I flew out of DFW this past June (on American) but was only checked with the usual walk-through, metal-detector thing; and it didn't beep so I was clear.  I don't recall if I was wearing my bra and fiberfil-foob that day, or if I'd left it in my carry-on bag.  In any case, it wouldn't have been any more likely to set off the metal detector than a regular, pre-BC bra would.  I actually had the clasp on the back of my size 34A bra set off the metal detector once, when we were flying out of somewhere ... Seattle, or Portland, or Anchorage, or maybe Juneau?  Really p*ssed me off, 'cause they wanded my torso.  The security person was sort of laughing, and she told me, "Oh, it's probably your bra.  It happens all the time!".

Yeah, right.  I feel *so* much safer because of that.

otter

Dx 2008, IDC, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Oct 12, 2010 02:40PM doingbetter wrote:

It's a shame that TSA isn't better educated to deal with this issue.  In addition to the invasion of privacy, I'm surprised more people aren't concerned about the radiation issue. I know that we are all told it's a minimal amount and "safe," but these things do break down and malfunction and by the time that's discovered the damage is done to the poor people who have been exposed to it. There was just an article in the NY Times on 9/12 about this. And it's no secret the number of radiation overexposure cases around the country at major hospitals.  While it's one thing to have to deal with radiation and take the risks when one is being treated for an illness, it's quite another to treat this risks so casually when it comes to traveling.

Dx 6/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Oct 12, 2010 04:50PM - edited Aug 20, 2013 05:55AM by Beesie

Madalyn, I'm with you completely on this one. The way that security is being handled is totally ridiculous.  Millions of totally innocent passengers have their privacy invaded and are put through tremendous inconvenience, and radiation exposure, and it seems that nobody who is really dangerous is ever caught.  There are better ways to approach this.

I used to fly at least twice a week almost every week.  I'd cut back to just a few times a year but now, with the full body scanners and the fact that I have implant reconstruction (which is nobody's business!), I try to avoid flying almost completely.  I have no interest in being pulled aside and having to explain my BC and reconstruction.

Dx 9/15/05, DCIS-MI, 6cm+ Gr3 DCIS w/IDC microinvasion, Stage IA, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR- “No power so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear.” Edmund Burke
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Oct 12, 2010 11:16PM Susie123 wrote:

We just flew a couple of weeks ago. I did get pulled to the side for them to check out my breasts. They take you behind a GLASS wall, so everybody sees you. I told them about the BC, BMX, and reconstruction with implants. It was originally a male TSA agent, he called for a female who actually patted my breasts down. They both were very nice and looked more uncomfortable about the situation than I was. The female touched my foobs very lightly with the back of her hands. It is a little strange, but I understand why they have to do it. I'm just glad that's not my job:)

Dx 12/22/2009, IDC, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/8 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Oct 20, 2010 01:45PM Roadrunner wrote:

Thank you for all the replies to my note above. Since I posted, it has happened to me again, flying out of a small airport in the Southwest. This time, I explained that I had a post-mastectomy implant to the TSA person BEFORE I raised my arms for the machine, but it made no difference -- I still had to submit to pat-down of both breasts. Between the two incidents over the last two weeks, I filed a complaint with the TSA about being consistently pulled for secondary screening because of my implant, and got a form-letter reply saying that they have to do this, that terrorists can disguise themselves as disabled people or try to conceal something in their clothing, so they cannot exclude any particular group from secondary screening. I hope that everyone reading this board knows that you always have the right to ask for the screening to be done in a private place (not all the airports have signs telling you that, as it requires two attendants and slows up the line) and that, at the very least, you should have a female attendant. If you are travelling with someone, have them keep an eye on your belongings, as they will be sitting unattended on the belt while you are being patted-down. And wear socks, as you will probably be asked to walk without your shoes further than just thru the machine. The first time this happened to me I was extremely upset by it, and although I am less and less freaked out each time, I still believe it to be a violation of my rights and I am not among those who feel it's a small inconvenience to keep the public flying safe.

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Oct 24, 2010 03:59PM otter wrote:

This airline pilot wasn't wearing a foob, but he did decline a full-body scan and the alternative screening method -- an "enhanced" pat-down -- at the Memphis International Airport.  He thinks both methods are too invasive (i.e., violations of privacy etc.) and are not effective anyway.

http://edition.cnn.com/2010/TRAVEL/10/20/pilot.refuses.body.scan/?iref=obnetwork

otter

Dx 2008, IDC, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Oct 24, 2010 05:34PM Anne888 wrote:

Very interesting.  Two days ago local news covered the installation of full body scanners at our airport.  So now I can look forward to a "fun" experience every time I leave town by plane.  Fortunately, my son and DIL will be flying here for Christmas, so no trips in the immediate future.  Hoping to read more on this thread about others' experiences before I have to go through it myself.  The newspaper article made reference to the privacy issue by stating that medical devices "such as colostomy bags" would show up on the image.  Thought that was kind of strange, since there are way more of us with breast protheses than people with colostomy bags.  Is it considered more PC to mention colostomy bags than BREASTS?

Dx 3/2001, DCIS, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Nov 15, 2010 08:22PM ddunn wrote:

Wow ...great discussion,  I have not been on a plane in a couple of months and was wondering if there were changes for us mastectomy survivors. 

I am thinking that the "private " pat down is the way to go.  Am I reading this right?

 DD

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Nov 15, 2010 11:32PM otter wrote:

FYI:  I have been doing a lot of reading about this lately, on the official TSA blog as well as in news reports and on traveler/flyer discussion boards.  What's happening is really scary, and sickening.

As of the end of October 2010, at least 73 airports in the U.S. were using "advanced imaging technology" (AIT) (also called "whole body imaging" or "WBI") as a primary method of screening airline passengers.  There are at least 400 AIT scanners in use (probably a lot more by now).  Some websites say the scanners are used only for secondary screening -- i.e, passengers are not scanned unless they set off the alarm on the walk-through metal detector.  That is not true -- "primary" means you will be scanned by the AIT instead of the metal detector.  There are two types of scanners being used on passengers:  backscatter X-ray scanners, and millimeter wave scanners. 

The backscatter scanners use radiation that penetrates completely through clothing and produces an image of skin, plus anything solid that blocks the X-rays (like weapons, wallets, jewelry, pocket contents).  Supposedly, the scanners have been programmed to "obscure" facial features and details of the "genital area"; but I've seen some pics that didn't look all that obscured.  TSA claims the amount of radiation exposure from one of these things is "very small," but two pilots' organizations have advised their members to refuse to go through the scanners because of the risk of excessive radiation.  (Pilots get exposed to a lot of radiation just by flying every day.)

I don't know much about the millimeter wave scanners.  They obviously don't use X-rays.  TSA says they're completely safe, but I guess I have my doubts.  In any case, they also produce a nearly naked image of the passenger. I would think you could not go in a millimeter wave scanner if you had any metal on your body, but I don't know that for sure.

At this point, TSA does not require people to go through the AIT scanners -- you still have the right to "opt out."  So, if you're unfortunate enough to be "selected" for scanning (and they actually use the word "selected", which IMHO is an unfortunate choice of words), you can decline by saying, "I opt out."  They are supposed to accept your choice without argument or explanation, but agents will sometimes try to convince passengers that the scanners are "harmless" or "faster" etc. ... or, they'll point out that, if you opt out of the scanner, you will be subjected to an "enhanced" pat-down search which most people do not like at all. 

The "enhanced" pat-down is far nastier and more invasive than the old-style pat-downs TSA had been doing.  Some people have argued that TSA makes the pat-down as embarrassing and obtrusive as possible, so you'll regret your choice and go through the scanner next time ... and other passengers won't even consider opting out.  The TSA denies this, of course. 

With an enhanced pat-down, the agent uses the front of his/her hands, including the fingers, to rub or stroke all parts of your body.  They rub their hands over bare skin, including face, neck, arms, legs ... and they pull their fingers through and under your hair.  They stroke all clothed areas carefully, from head to toe (sometimes including the soles of your stocking feet).  They rub their hands and fingers all around, between, and over, the breasts, often "cupping" each breast with their hand(s) and running the fingers under the band or underwire.  They use their hands to stroke up the front and back of each thigh to the crotch until their fingers "meet resistance" (their words).  They also try to run their fingers through the butt cleavage, as well as on bare skin underneath the waistband, if you're wearing slacks.  This stroking is sometimes done repeatedly (2 or 3 times over the same area); and sometimes a person is subjected to a second pat-down by a different agent even if the first one didn't find anything.  They do all this while wearing gloves that are then tested for residue in a sniffer machine.

I have no idea if the enhanced pat-down could detect a breast prosthesis.  I suspect it could, because of what I've read about the agents digging their fingers under the edge of a bra and sometimes squeezing the breast and, in men, the "genital area."  Also, if they find something they cannot "clear" (their word, meaning "figure out what it is"), they can order you into a private room and make you take off the relevant clothing.  I've read that some men and women have been ordered to remove their shirts or blouses; and women have been told to raise or remove their skirts if the agent cannot feel far enough up the thighs through the skirt fabric.

You're supposed to be able to request a same-sex agent if one is not offered automatically, although TSA admits they cannot always provide a same-sex agent at some airports because of staffing issues.  And, you're supposed to be able to have this pat-down done in a private location, with a witness of your choice if you ask.  You are also supposed to be able to keep your possessions in your sight (remember, they've been sitting in bins on the X-ray conveyor belt all this time); but I've read of many instances in which the agent did not allow the passenger to retrieve his/her possessions or even keep them in sight.

I assume, but do not know, that either of the two types of scanners will detect something odd about a breast form.  It's fabric and/or silicon, not skin; so I don't even know what it would look like on the scan.  Any time the person viewing the scanner images sees something he/she cannot "clear", the passenger will be subjected to a thorough pat-down of the area.  I have been following a flyers' blog/discussion board, and people there have said sometimes more than half the passengers going through the scanner at a particular airport end up being patted-down anyway.  (Kind of makes you wonder if it's worth what they paid for it, yes?)

Anyway, this whole thing sickens me.  I was having enough trouble with the eagle-eye looks from the I.D. inspectors, and having to take off my shoes, pull out my laptop, and stuff all those tiny containers of shampoo, make-up, toothpaste, chapstick, etc., into that zip-lock bag for some federal agent to inspect, just so I could board a commercial airplane on a flight for which I'd paid hundreds of dollars.  (Don't get me started on the checked-bag and new carry-on fees!)

It turns out that anyone who knows anything about concealment and smuggling understands that neither the AIT scanners nor the "enhanced" pat-downs will find something, if somebody really wants to get it on a plane ... if the plane is the target these days in the first place.  But, it sure does make some Americans feel safer.

I used to fly at least half a dozen times a year (x 2 = 12 flights or more).  Since the TSA started clamping down on what we can wear and what we can carry on, I've only flown once or twice a year and that was just because of family emergencies (oh, and a very special get-together with my May '08 chemo sisters).  I will be trying my hardest not to ever fly again.  My dh refuses to even consider flying commercially.   The airlines will lose.

otter

Dx 2008, IDC, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-

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