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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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Posts 151 - 165 (165 total)

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Oct 13, 2012 05:01PM Mandy1313 wrote:

Otter: thanks for telling me about the "we wont fly" page. It would be nice if some of the bc organizations might put a little pressure on the government TSA for dignity of passengers.  I take the train whenever possible but it is not always possible.

Dx 6/2008, IDC, 1cm, Grade 1, 1/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Oct 13, 2012 06:24PM SoCalLisa wrote:

I just returned from a trip,, they used the magnetic scanner one way and the full body scanner the other..I have one

prosthesis, no problems whatsoever.. 

Biography: DX 11/2000 LCIS,DCIS,IDC 2B, Grade 1, ER+,PR+ Her2Neg 1 pos node Lumptectomy, CMF chemo X 6 mos, DX 8/2001, IDC same breast--Mastectomy , Left Breast Lumpectomy... Tamoxifen, one year...Armidex, Four years
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Oct 15, 2012 12:47PM Celtic_Spirit wrote:

Thanks for the info, Otter. I'm thinking I just got lucky on this trip!

Dx 2/8/2008, IDC, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, 9/30 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Oct 20, 2012 02:18AM Celtic_Spirit wrote:

Mystery solved:

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/49485357/ns/local_news-san_diego_ca/

If you're going to travel grope-free, now is the time to do it!

Dx 2/8/2008, IDC, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, 9/30 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Oct 20, 2012 10:53AM Erica wrote:

Thanks for that info, Celtic Spirit. Having had whole-breast radiation, I really haven't felt good about adding any more rads with the backscatter scanners. I'm flying out of Logan to Miami next week and am glad to learn that Logan swapped out its backscatter scanners and installed millimeter wave scanners in early Oct. I think Miami was an early adopter of millimeter wave scanners, so hopefully I'll find them there, too. So far, there are no apparent health concerns with millimeter wave scanners--let's hope we don't get bad news about them down the road.

BreastFree.org (breastfree.org); BreastFree Blog (breastfree.blogspot.com); Twitter @BreastFree
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Oct 20, 2012 11:31AM - edited Oct 21, 2012 09:33AM by nagem

I just refuse to go through any scanner that has unanswered questions or suspicions and insist on a patdown. I figure the woman who does the patdown gets an education.

nagem (underthestinkwoodtree.blogspot...) Dx 9/23/2005, ILC, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 1/13 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+
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Oct 21, 2012 08:48AM DocBabs wrote:

My first encounter with a full body screener was last year. Not only do I have 2 artificial hips and an artificial shoulder, 2 expanders were now in the mix. No problems at all. I have been stopped at some airports for my hips and patted down in the "glassroom" but the pat down is nothing too.I think between the full body screening and the patdown, the screening bothers me the most. I can only imagine the person on the other side gawking at the freak on the screen.Silly thought , I know.

DocBabs Dx 4/28/2011, IDC, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/13/2011 Lymph node removal: Right; Mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 5/13/2011 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right Hormonal Therapy 7/15/2011 Aromasin (exemestane)
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Oct 28, 2012 11:04PM newfmama wrote:

I fly quite often. I've been thru all the scanners & had many pat downs when wearing my silicone foobs. I've also had them taken my silicone foobs out of my suitcase. So now I wear the softies, put my silicone foobs in a big ziplock & have written breast prothesis, do not touch, on the bag. So far, no more pat downs, or TSA guys snickering & handling my foobs.

Anyone can give up, it's the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, that's true strength. Dx 8/22/2011, ILC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 2/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/20/2011 Lymph node removal: Left, Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right Hormonal Therapy 11/11/2011 Aromasin (exemestane), Femara (letrozole), Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Nov 21, 2012 09:50AM lewing wrote:

I fly a lot, and have had minimal problems at security.  (I had a unilateral mx and wear a prosthesis.) Most of the airports I fly through use the millimeter wave technology, which they seem to alternate with plain, old-fashioned metal detectors.  Usually I pass right through.  A few times recently, I've been stopped for a quick check, for issues that had nothing to do with my mx.  Once it was hairpins in my bun, once it was something on my leg (never did figure that one out).  Both times the check was very quick and unobtrusive -- certainly not a groping, wouldn't even call it a patdown, really. More like a quick wave of the hand over the area in question.  It's been a while since I had my fingers swabbed, though that's certainly happened more than once.

My impression is that TSA has become much more educated about what breast forms and/or implants look like on the screen, and are much less likely to stop people now than when the body scanners first came into use.   Back then it seemed 50-50 whether I'd be stopped and have my bra area checked out.  But even then, in my experience, the TSA agents were always polite and professional . . . I didn't like being reminded of how my body had changed, but I never felt humiliated.

Hope this is at least a little reassuring to anyone who's flying over the Thanksgiving holiday.  Save travels, everyone!

Linda

Dx 1/15/2008, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, 1/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 3/12/2008 Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole) Chemotherapy Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Nov 23, 2012 04:01PM otter wrote:

Thanks, Linda.  I still plan to drive as often as feasible, but reports like yours are reassuring.  Maybe I just need to learn to relax about all this.  No point arriving at the checkpoint with a chip on my shoulder!

otter

Dx 2008, IDC, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Nov 30, 2012 09:26PM Blundin2005 wrote:

I've had my first experience with TSAs new screeners...Philadelphia and San Francisco airports. Both showed the same positions under my arm and on my breast. Possibly the markers left for rads. I was told they wouldn't interfer with airport screening...at the time. I was patted down each viewing. I asked if there was a note from the doctor that could help. She answered simply that she is required to pat down when the indicators light up. 

The pat down was brief. Still, it was an embarrassment. I don't look forward to the next screening that is certain to come. I came to the threads to see what others are experiencing and what alternatives there might be. 

Thanks for the FB page Otter. Any enlightenment is welcomed.  Any other ideas? I fly again on 9 Dec. :-(

DX 15 Aug '05, Stage1/grade1, 1.5 cm, IDC/DCIS, 0/2 nodes, ER+PR-,HER2 5%; Dx Oct 2008 bladder papilloma low grade; Dx 07/2013 Stage 2b; t3 M0, 2.0 cm lung cancer, rt. upper lobe
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Dec 5, 2012 09:18PM Mandy1313 wrote:

Blunden, I'm so sorry that you have had the indignity of being pulled aside and patted down.  I agree, it is not the pat down per se, it is the embarrassment of being pulled out as if you have done something.  I don't have any advice for you but it has made flying very anxiety producing for me. I am pulled out at least 50 per cent of the time that I fly for having "a body anomoly".   Sometimes I think that if they did a little more profiling and used their brains more than just a machine, we'd all be alot safer.  Sending you a hug for your next flight.

Dx 6/2008, IDC, 1cm, Grade 1, 1/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Dec 5, 2012 09:21PM - edited Dec 5, 2012 09:22PM by Galsal

Just last week went through the Scanner at Miami Intl Airport.  Wasn't wearing the foobs.  Yet something lit up in the chest area.  I'd not been aware of any marker being left in place and said so.  Took me a minute to realize it was the bra/vest zipper.  Explained before she patted me down and she agreed that's what it was. 

Then had to have the gloves wiped since had sleeves and gauntlets on also. 

Dx 12/14/2011, ILC, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 2/10/2012 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right Hormonal Therapy 10/6/2012 Arimidex (anastrozole) Hormonal Therapy 12/13/2012 Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy 4/16/2013 Aromasin (exemestane)
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Dec 10, 2012 05:27PM Blundin2005 wrote:

Left from Philly airport yesterday. I advised the agent of my experiences before I went through the scanner. I asked if there was anything I could do. He said I could opt for a full body search if I didn't want the scanner. I asked, "So that's the choice?". I went through the scanner. Lo and behold, I didn't light this one up. I don't know if their is AI built into the system that eliminates previous "no threat" alarms...or I was just lucky this time. Either way, I was happy not to be frisked...even if only that area. I did observe someone who opted for the full body search...not a choice I would make, I can say after watching, even though done with the highest of professionalism.

I'm a believer in security, it's the times we live in, I just didn't like being reminded of my physical short comings yet again. This too shall pass. Now I tell them what to expect. 

Best wishes to all as always,

Marilyn

DX 15 Aug '05, Stage1/grade1, 1.5 cm, IDC/DCIS, 0/2 nodes, ER+PR-,HER2 5%; Dx Oct 2008 bladder papilloma low grade; Dx 07/2013 Stage 2b; t3 M0, 2.0 cm lung cancer, rt. upper lobe
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Dec 10, 2012 07:38PM Leah_S wrote:

What they don't tell you is that you can request that the patdown be done pivately. They don't tell you because it's a pain in the neck for them, but I figure, we pay their salaries with our taxes, we can request privacy even if it's inconvenient.

Leah

Dx 11/3/2008, IDC, 1cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, 6/17 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-

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