Our TSA Friends
One possible benefit of Pink October is that legitimate issues related to living with breast cancer get some press attention. An ongoing problem for many cancer patients is airport security; that is, dealing with our friends in TSA and the various scanning machines. This is not reserved for women with breast cancer, as other people may have ports or tubes or prosthetic devices that trigger attention. My concern is for women post mastectomy. I have written before about my personal outrage about being singled out for a pat down when a breast prosthesis was apparently viewed as a potential bomb. This is especially on my mind this morning as I am flying to Minnesota later today and will be dealing with this issue.
Personally, I have found several ways to deal with this possibility. (And it is only a possibility for any given trip. Sometimes the X-ray scanners label me a possible terrorist and sometimes they don't.) Depending on my mood at the moment, I either mention it to the TSA person in advance (useless, but feels pro-active), remove the prosthesis in the ladies' room and put it in my purse to go through security, deal with the pat down and try to stay calm and civil, or flip the prosthesis out at the same time I take off my shoes and belt and jacket and put them all in the little tray. That last option is my favorite, but I don't always have the chutzpah.
Here is an article about another woman's experience:
Breast Cancer Survivors Slam TSA Over "Humiliating" Pat Downs
In case after case, agency is subjecting cancer survivors to horrific public embarrassment
Steve Watson, Infowars.com
Oct 9, 2012
Breast cancer survivor Marcia Deitrick has described a recent experience at the hands of the TSA as "humiliating", and has called for screeners to be properly trained to accommodate millions of others like her.
Deitrick, who underwent bilateral mastectomies in 2007, told reporters that screeners at Kansas City International Airport took issue with her body scars after she passed through a body scanner.
One screener radioed a superior to report "an anomaly," before asking Deitrick, who has silicone breast implants and 20 inches of scar tissue from chemotherapy, if she was wearing something on her chest.
"Then she ran the backs of her hands around my breasts in full view of everybody," Deitrick told KCTV 5 news in an interview. "She was nice, she was polite. But she didn't ask me if I wanted a private screening."
"I actually stood there thinking these people probably think I'm doing something wrong, that either there's something wrong with my body or I've done something wrong," Deitrick said.
"I do not want somebody touching me," Deitrick added, noting that the TSA conducting pat downs on people who have endured such procedures "adds insult to injury."
"I was just so shocked that I was numb and as the days went by, I got angry."
Read more »
And here is an excellent idea from a breast cancer survivor in Ohio. I am going to see if we can develop something similar:
Article at oandp.com »
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