Further to my 29th Jan 2017 have been to see oncologist who tells me the radiotherapy would NOT set off alarms BUT interestingly had a letter today to say they may be tumour clips left as markers so may be that is what happened will find out when i next see my surgeon in a few months, i looked up this on google and they use them in helping the exact place for radiotherapy and not every one has these but perhaps because this is my second time round will help in future mammogrames.
Hi every one after lumpectomy with isotope August had 3 weeks of radiotherapy that finished 28th November 2016, we had booked to go to Mauritius Jan for 2 weeks sun, on leaving Manchester set off the alarm got checked with pat down did not think anything more untill we came to leave our holiday destination, WOW it went off again i cannot believe after 2 months that it is still in the system i have an appointment this week so will check with the oncologist it was very embarrasing had i have known felt a right charlie and on checking on google does happen be warned !!!
Always get stopped....2 hip replacements.😄 Never seen the scanner though.Think it is someone tucked behind a screen may see it.When they go over with a wand,it picks up exactly wear the hips are.Never had problems in boob area,despite implants etc.
can you please clarify, how come you did see your scanned image, as not supposed to be seen by anyone? And if these scanners are low mm waves, how come they penetrate further beyond the skin, as they shouldn't...?
I'm a frequent flyer, usually on domestic routes, and the main "problem" I have had at airport security is being asked to remove my hat at security - especially at the stage where they take your photo. It isn't a problem for me, but it has occasionally been awkward or embarrassing for staff or those around me. Obviously, I don't think I'd have asked to remove a wig! Just something for people to consider when travelling, if that would be something that might upset you........
Posted on behalf of the Breast Cancer Care Policy Team
In our response to the Government’s consultation on this issue (which was informed by the views and experiences of our Breast Cancer Voices), we recommended that people affected by breast cancer should have the option of (prosthesis) disclosure to be done in written form, not verbally.
We also recommended that there should be an option to have a thorough pat-down search instead of going through a security scanner.
The Department for Transport (DfT) have decided against offering an alternative in the form of a pat-down search, on the grounds of security. The DfT explain this in their FAQs document on their website. The document also includes a note about the visibility of implants and prostheses and highlights that ‘security officers are trained to deal with issues of this nature in an appropriate manner’. Not all passengers are screened but if you are selected for screening you may request that the screen reader (the person who sees the scanned image of you) is of the same sex.
The DfT have also released an updated Code of Practice for the use of security scanners. You can read this document here
If you would like to talk openly about the body scanners, could we ask if you wouldn't mind emailing the moderator please at and we will make sure this gets to someone in our policy team to have a look at and respond to.
I am a bit scared about going through one as I not only have had a mastectomy with reconstruction but also had titanium pins inserted into my femur and pelvis a few months ago.
I do think it is comforting that they are so thorough and so make flying safer but I wish there was some sort of official card we could have that would explain that implants/mastectomy had been carried out and signed by a doctor perhaps? I don't mind bearing my all in a private room but I do not want to answer personal questions in public.
Do BCC have any thought on the matter? Val
I have a tissue expander with a magnetic port. Went to Nepal through Heathrow, didn't set off any alarms at Heathrow. At Delhi all women are taken into a little cubicle and have a hand held device run over them, set the alarm off and tried to explain to the woman what it was, she didn't understand so I offered to show her (it's very prominent because I'm so slight) and she waved me through. Same on the way back through Delhi but didn't set it off in Kathmandu or Pokhara.
Then went to Switzerland through Manchester in November this year. When selected for the full body scanner I told the guy I had a "medical device" which would set off the alarm, he said let's see what happens, it did and he told me it was all OK. Very painless.
In the last year I have experienced the scanners at Manchester Airport.
Having had a mastectomy and wearing a prosthesis I was concerned. The very well known travel company I booked with on both occasions could not offer me any advice that made me feel comfortable. That said I also contacted the Airport and was told "dont worry". I was concerned with both my prosthesis as it has liquid in and the fact all and sundary would see my shape from the scanner.
At manchester both males and female security seem to "crowd" around for a viewing when anyone scanned or generally checked.
They also have the box type cage you have to stand in for a few seconds which I found awful as I have suffered panic attacks since my cancer.
When I arrived at the airport I found I was extremley nervous and worried, the checking in staff was male and everyone was around, I did not want to shout out my business to all and sundry. I had to walk over to a lady on the checking desk who was about to move off. I whispered to her about my concerns she was fabulous checked me in and took me through to the security checking area and spoke to a senior female member of staff who put me through the process. The second occasion at the airport I was not so lucky and the check in person shouted to a colleague whats a mastectomy!
I did ask the airport staff if anyone who had a false arm or leg was asked to remove for security to check, as I would find it difficult to do this in public and as I am a single mum of two boys, would not want to be away from them and them being worried about me. I realise their is security to be done but anyone with a disability needs to have their area and with staff sensitive to any disabled persons needs.
Other passengers are usually very good about puting up and taking down overhead luggage if you ask them. The stewardesses will often put it up but won't be there to take it down.
Angielav the staff at the airport should help you retreive your luggage off the carousel if you tell them you are disabled and need assistance. It might not hurt to ring ahead of time to find more.
Overhead lockers for your hand luggage is more of an issue, the general rule is you have to be able to cope by yourself but I think it's worth asking, you are usually allowed use the floorspace under the seat in front as an alternaive provided you don't have the seat with the emergency door. You wont be able to use that seat as the person in it needs to be able to open it and throw it out in an emergency
It's ridiculous that your dr. wanted payment just to supply a simple letter - it's not as if they don't get more than adequately remunerated already!
I shall be avoiding Manchester Airport because I don't want to be exposed to any more radiation for a while.
Don't have any problem with being scanned and am glad of the extra security for all our sakes.
Only two issues occur to me.
One is that all relevant staff are properly trained so that they recognise implant reconstruction for what it is - without the necessity of any explanation. Also, a failed implant reconstruction, as I have, feels pretty hard and unnatural and is also misshapen compared to the other side. I want airport staff to recognise this for what it is without me having to face questions about it.
Second issue is that when I was due to go through the Manchester Airport scanner, I was concerned that I'd be selected and would then have to verbally explain that I had reconstructive implants (with concern that the staff member might not know what these were - plenty of M&S bra fitters don't know what they are yet!). Because of this, I asked my GP to provide a letter of explanation so that I had something I could hand over (rather than having to verbally explain which would have reduced me to tears). GP declined to do so unless I paid a charge for the letter which I didn't think was right.
EDIT - perhaps a standard letter/form could be produced - for breast clinics to easily give out so that an explanation of individual circumstances can be provided i.e. this lady has a right/left reconstructive implant following breast cancer diagnosis, a right/left metal this/that/the other etc etc. If it was in a standard form that airport staff recognised then it would take away the need to individually explain what unusual bits we have and where. A standard format would make it easy to train and prepare airport staff for different presentations.
I have just been on holiday to Iceland and Canada and I am undergoing a reconstruction with a tissue expander fitted with a magnetic port. I got a letter from my doctor explaining this so I wouldnt set off the scanners. I have a variety of reactions from security. Britain didnt look like they had ever encountered this. I was asked to go through a full body scanner but was treated sensitively. Bit of a palaver though.Iceland were not phased and were very matter of fact. Canada were really lovely, they gave me a pat down by a very nice lady who asked me first off if I was ok and asked if I was at all tender or sensitive. I did not mind the scanner but do feel a little self concious that security know such an intimate thing about me.
Hello I went through a full body scanner at Manchester airport last summer (I didn't have to this summer). It was only a few weeks after I had finished six weeks of rads and had an isotope injection and a body scan so i was a bit concerned about even more exposure to radiation but I didn't say anything I just complied as I was travelling with my teenage son (embarassment factor for him) and we really needed a holiday!
hope this helps
I was asked if I would agree to a full body scan about two years ago at Heathrow (much to the hilarity of the rest of my party) having had many operations following my diagnosis which culminated in a DIEP .The process was uneventfull though I did feel a bit disconcerted that I had to walk quite a long way to the scanning booth with two complete strangers. HOWEVER I wish I had said no as I really do not want any additional X-rays /scans at this stage in my life.
Aussie customs I'm used to .. but obviously before I had cancer.. I've been six times so used to that .. but not used to the wig and prosthesis!
Aussie customs - you are in for an "experience".
My son even had to clean the soles of his shoes...they were concerned that he was bringing in alien soil samples with bacteria and strange life forms into their country.
So what should I expect when I go to Portugal in September and Australia in December. I will be wearing a prosthesis and a wig. In september I will still have my portacath implanted. And how on earth will I manage with my luggage (lifting it on when I check in and off the carousel)??? I am single and travelling alone.
my friend who does a lot of travelling refuses to use them because she is worried how often she would be exposed to radiation. She gets to the airport early to allow time for the confrontation. Once she was taken off to a room for a strip search, but on the other two occasions they just passed her through
I'm not too bothered about people seeing me, after the amount of doctors, nurses, med students, ODPs, rads techies etc I feel like half the world has seen my boobs anyway lol!
However I am very concerned about the radiation issue scottdolly mentions. I have just googled a few news reports from earlier in the year which claim the dose of radiation is incredibly tiny and much less than you receive from natural background radiation.
But is is STILL an extra dose of radiation, even if it is only small. I don't suppose they have been round long enough for people to study the difference in the effects they may have on people who have already had lots of medical scans, versus those who haven't?
Does anyone have the right or option to ask for an alternative? I would be perfectly happy to be searched (obviously providing it is done respectfully and preferably by a woman) rather than receiving radiation.
I think the concern may be to do with exposing your body to xrays. I know my oncologist has always shown a great deal of concern with regards to this ...his argument is he has to justify every xray he requests yet we are being exposed to much stronger xray machines than before especially at certain airports.....for me it is a huge concern as I work for a commercial airline and go through security scanners on a regular basis ...the old scanners were metal detectors. So yes this does concern me.
Hi I am going to spain soon , after having my mx and diep flap i would not like to have a body scan i would feel very upset to think someone else would see me
JaneEB, Show them all, and be proud; you worked hard for those boobs!!
I had been dreading flying since uni-mastectomy but just got through the ordeal a whole lot easier than expected. The lymphoedema sleeve drew comments and questions, followed universally by good wishes after a brief explanation that I had surgery last year; the beany-boob drew no comments or specail treatments at all. I guess they can see it on the scanner and just know what it is, or else it doesn't show up. However my belt buckle set the machines off every time, I had to take it off and hey I lost some weight, my trousers are falling off :OOPS:
For future trips I will make sure to write down the words for breast cancer, surgery/operation, prosthesis/implant and lymhoedema in every language imaginable, before I leave home!
Great idea to wear the pin!
had various experiences, once went through and they just had a quick feel around and then last year coming back from usa they pulled me aside and asked what I had in my top and could obviously see my prothesis - feels very strange knowing someone is looking at you somewhere, i once took a letter but they werent interested in it
I was pulled to heve a full body scan last year when going to Spain through leeds/bradford airport, I have had bi-lateral mastectomies with reconstruction and it was a little bit uncomfortable but I explained to the security and they were very understanding, I felt they were regretful that they had had to do this.
i went through a body scanner last year.... although i dont have a prostethis it did show up my mirena coil i could see it on the screen quite clearly.
Jane - you'll have a Port card to show folk, yeah? I have one that I have to carry.
My slight concern is that I have temporary implants with magnetic ports on them. Does anyone know if they are likely to set off alarms at the airport. I don't mind explaining but I'm not showing them my boobs!
Thanks for the info, I`m sure Shelley and myself will find it reassuring to know the facts if we are put in a situation which we find embarassing or upsetting, I will gear myself up to be more assertive on my next flight. Shelley, I wish you well on your forthcoming journey, let us all know your experiences on your return.
Love to all, Mags xx
Oh my what an awful experience. You really get jobsworths dont you.
On my first visit back home sice i finished my chemo I was scared witless.The bean bag prosthesis I wasnt to worried about It was having no hair and with me wearing a beannie hat I just new something was going to happen.
At security in Bangkok was my first encounter I though language barrier be a problem when the girl asked me to take off my hat to go through. I had put a breast cancer pin on to my t shirt and I just showed her that and pointed to my head and she said ok and called a lady over and just asked her to give me a quick scan. I was sweating buckets but they were so nice.
On the way out to visit my son in Gibralter I wore my pin again and the lady at security just asked looked at the pin and the hat and asked if I had to keep it on I answered yes and again she just asked a girl to run the wand over me.
One of the security chaps came up to me and told me No one can force you to take it off or do anything you dont want to do in public. You have the right if they want to scan or check you out to ask for it to be done in private. on the whole I so far - touch wood I havefound them to be ok.
Woody, I've just seen your post on the other "Airport body scanners" thread. I'm so sorry you had that awful experience at the airport when they handled you like that. I'd have been just as upset as you!
Oh Woody, bless you, I've just woken in the night n decided to pop on here while I'm having my drinking chocolate. You have really made me laugh!
I'm dreading goin thru the airport on my own anyway, even without the prosthesis issue - I'm gonna have to have a Paddington-bear type label stuck to me anyway "Please look after this human, n make sure she gets on the right plane".
Now, I'm going to be arrested for "acting suspiciously at an airport", as I'm going to be having a quiet giggle to myself thinking about your remarks here!!
On a more serious note, does anyone know when I should declare the prosthesis?
Luv, Shelley xxx
PS If they decide to pat me down, I'm gonna make the buggers guess which side is my prosthesis - lol! xx
Hello to Shelley,
I hope that someone replies to you as regards who you should notify,
God forbid we`re told to tell those bored looking girls at the check-in desks, "Did you insert your prothesis yourself?" "Has anyone given you another prothesis to carry on?" "Have you left your prothesis unattended?", the mind boggles!
Lol that's ok we r thinking of going away in sept but am concerned about the airport I understood wasn't a prob but after reading yours not to sure now tc laura
Thanks Laura, you`re quite right, I was getting all paranoid!!
Best wishes, Mags.
laura - the point is: precisely BECAUSE we have already been exposed to enough radiation to last a lifetime it seems logical that we shouldn't want to be exposed to any more, however small.