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Airport security - pills and body scanners!

29 REPLIES 29
Member

Re: Airport security - pills and body scanners!

meggy i last travelled out of edinburgh in May and they didnt have a full body scanner... you will know if you have to go through one because they make you empty everything out of your pockets even old snotty tissues and when you go in it you have to stop for a few moments and raise your arms above your head.... it looks a bit like a shower cubicle.

mummy no1 i agree with libby that if you take once of your hospital letters stating you had breast cancer or breast surgery like the discharge letter they give you when you get out of hospital which says what op you had and what meds your on.

you may find that your BCN or surgeon would give you a letter on official hospital headed paper if you request it and usually dont have to pay for it.

Lx

Member

Re: Airport security - pills and body scanners!

Hi Mummy No1 do you have copies of letters sent to your GP by Onc/PS? Could you copy a relevant on of these to take with you 'just in case'? Jackie

Member

Re: Airport security - pills and body scanners!

I'm glad it's not just me worrying about this! Anyway, I did phone the BCN at Manchester and she said that the internal implants are unlikely to show up on the scanner unless they're of the Becker type which is a less usual type I think.

I decided that I'd prefer a letter with me to explain just in case. I would find it upsetting to explain verbally to a stranger that I've got fake boobs but it's much easier to hand over a letter. But, guess what, my GP will charge me for a two line letter explaining that I have internal implants as a result of reconstruction following breast cancer. I suppose GPs are quite impoverished and need to make every extra £10 where they can. Hmmmmmmm.

Anyway, I'll report back when we get back from holiday.

Member

Re: Airport security - pills and body scanners!

I flew from Manchester earlier in the year. I wear a beanie bag to balance myself out. I had heard that they show up on the body scanners so I popped in the loo just before going through security and took it out and popped it back in when I got through into the departure lounge. Just as well because I was asked to go through the full body scanner. I also keep my meds in their original boxes in my hand luggage.

Member

Re: Airport security - pills and body scanners!

Hi

I've flown a few times since Dx May 2008 and not had any problems. The first time I had my wig on and no-one asked me to remove it. Went through no problem.

I am also on femara, again no problem taking them through the airport. I was caught up in the volcanic ash problem and I'd only taken a few spare tablets so ran out! Went to the pharmacia in spain, who would sell it over the counter for 170 euros. Eventually went to the local doctor, got a prescription, and got it for 2.70 euros. So worth it. No hassle.

Mal x

Member

Re: Airport security - pills and body scanners!

hi - I flew Birmingham to Edinburgh & back in May & not sure whether I went through a whole body scanner or not, but at both airports I was taken aside & manually frisked, and I had to take my shoes off. This never happened to me before BC & my two protheses. My husband went through with no problems & he looks far more suspicious than me! I suspected that some abnormal patterns must have been detected for me. I didn't feel I had to 'own' up to false boobies - none of their business.
Interested to hear of other peoples' experiences!
Cheers
Maggy

Member

Re: Airport security - pills and body scanners!

Hi Everybody

The larger airports usually have a Fasttrack/VIP lane for security which gets a bit more privacy (never used this - just heard about it). Might be worth getting in touch with the airport before you fly to see if you can use it, if nothing else it will prove you're not trying to smuggle anything.

Best wishes and happy hols
Lilac x

Member

Re: Airport security - pills and body scanners!

Ive travelled quite widely in the last two years, and every time I go through the full body scanner, my prosthesis is picked up, I am taken to the side by a female and I explain and theres never been a problem. I am not at all bothered by this as I'd rather they asked me than let through someone who did have something dangerous concealed in their bra.

Concerning medication, I carry all mine, including needles, with me in a small leather diabetes case, and I present it to the officers at the scan and show them my prescription before it goes through the scanner, they then give the nod to the scanner operative and Ive never had any problems, I think if you are upfront with them, you'll never get stopped.

A useful thing I found out when in Italy recently was that most pharmacies when you are travelling will sell you prescription drugs if for any reason you lose or have yours stolen if you have your repeat prescription slip or an empty drug packet with your name on it.

I usually carry half my medication with me and half in my suitcase (needles are bulky) but my suitcase was lost and I didnt get it back for 4 days (long story, cruise, different ports) I'd run out of antidepressants and needles, but in one port I went to a pharmacy with the empty boxes and my passport and they sold me the drugs I needed quite cheaply.It certainly saves having to pay exorbitant fees to see a foreign doctor who will prescribe you what you need.

Hope you all enjoy your travels

SS

Member

Re: Airport security - pills and body scanners!

hi Sarah, I travelled when I had no hair, just wearing a scarf. I had no problems with that, it never occured to me to remove the scarf and I was never asked. I think if I'd been asked to remove it I would have turned around and gone back home!!! I now have hair so that's no longer an issue for me, I can't see you having any problems in that respect.
The thing that is concerning me most now (as I travel quite often) is going through one of the bigger airports with these new bodyscanners,having to declare wearing an external prosthesis and being subjected to a body search. Oh the joys of living with this!!

Member

Re: Airport security - pills and body scanners!

This is a really interesting thread. I wonder if you know/or have had experience.. if you are wearing wig or headscarf because of no hair, will they make you remove it to go thro security? They make you take off shoes and belts etc.... I can believe scarves would need to go... BUT emotionally if that were me ( and its not yet because I havent got to that stage yet, but will I espect in a few weeks after my chemo starts) I can`t imagine how I`d cope.
If I am able to work, I will need to travel abroad a couple of times, so am just thinking and aniticpating what plansmight be requried.
Of course I may not be able to travel or work... but am hoping to be as normal as possible.
thankyou
Sarah

Member

Re: Airport security - pills and body scanners!

Hi,
This is an interseting thread. I'm due to fly off for a couple of days from Gatwick in a few weeks-was prepared with the info on liquids, but hadn't even thought about creams, gels and pills, so its very useful to read that in time to decant to smaller containers, and tear of the prescription. I also hadn't considered the scanners- I'm slightly nervous about them now, but pays to be prepared!
Maureen, do you mean one on top of each other? Thanks
C x

Member

Re: Airport security - pills and body scanners!

Aw, thanks ladies, I feel reassured now. I have a "sample" bottle in my bag as we speak so I'll decant gel into that.

Forgot to mention earlier, for those of us who have lymphoedema, the Lymphoedema Support Network recommend that we wear both compression sleeves on affected arm during flights. O Joy!!

Maureen xx

Member

Re: Airport security - pills and body scanners!

maureen like finty suggested i have travelled with aqueous cream for radiation rash, brufen gel for cording in my arm, and eye drops for post chemo dry eye.... my gp wrote prescriptions for samll sized tubes.

also my daughter who has extremey bad eczema and requires 4 different creams travelled recently across europe and russia on ryan air, easyjet, whizzair etc with the creams in her hand luggage again the gp prescribed small sized preparation for all except one which only came in a 500ml pot so we decanted some of it into a universal specimen jar (often called a urine sample pot) she encountered no problems with this at all.

good luck and happy holidays all you ladies im also off on my hols to Turkey in 4 weeks... hopefully ill be fully on the mend after my hysterectomy.

Lxx

Member

Re: Airport security - pills and body scanners!

Hi

I wear an external prosthesis, and it has never showed up on any scanning machines. The only one that activated the scanner is the spongy one with the weight inside but they warn you of this on the packaging. I just told the security personnel when they took me to the side what it was and she ushered me through, so no hassle.
I am due to have reconstruction soon so hope not to have this problem anymore.

Hope this helps

Carolyn x

Member

Re: Airport security - pills and body scanners!

this is really interesting I must say!

Like you Susana, I am concerned about the external prosthesis showing up - I have 2 of them , and the thought of having to explain is a bit nerve-wracking- I'm having a holiday to try and forget about it all lol!!!
Would like to hear from anyone with external prosthesis and how they got on!
XXX

Member

Re: Airport security - pills and body scanners!

Maureen I think gels are treated the same as liquids so ok if in a container of 100mls or less - I've been fine with a small tube of toothpaste, which is 50mls I think. If it's in a big bottle, could you perhaps decant some into a little sample bottle (like the ones I steal from hotels!)?
fintyx

Member

Re: Airport security - pills and body scanners!

Hi everyone

This is a very interesting thread. I'm flying from Manchester to Heathrow on Tuesday and have been concerned about the meds. BA recommend carrying them in hand luggage, so that's okay. But is it okay to carry gels? I have a terrible rash on both legs (waiting for dermatology appointment) and as well as hydrocortisone cream I rub in Aloe Vera gel when it's itchy.

I have a rod in left arm which didn't set off the alarm last time, neither did the prosthesis. However, things may be different with the full body scan.

Hubby must look shifty because he always gets searched. We even flew from Anglesey to Cardiff on an 18-seater last year and he had to take off his belt and shoes to be searched. He was trying not to look embarrassed and I was holding the wall up trying not to laugh out loud hahahahaha.

Good luck to us all (and enjoy your holidays).
Maureen xx

Member

Re: Airport security - pills and body scanners!

I travel frequently but so far have managed to avoid the larger airports with scanners, just hate the thought of being subjected to body searches, it's bad enough having to wear a prosthesis let alone having to declare it publicly every time you want to fly.!!!!!

Member

Re: Airport security - pills and body scanners!

my prothesis set it off, however its not the same person who sees it that attends to you, i went to try and explain but she just had a feel around and then let me go - i was nervous about it

Member

Re: Airport security - pills and body scanners!

i always take my medication in my hand luggage... im on about 6 tablets and 2 or 3 creams/gels, and eye drops every day... on the lotions and potions i put the sticky pharmacy label and carry the original flattened boxes of the tablets in my hold luggage... i do also carry my hospital letters with my meds to show iv had treatment for breast cancer and repeat prescription.... never had any problems and never even been asked to show anything and i fly usually about 2 or 3 times a year.... i do keep my meds in a wee pouch... my 'drug bag' and i put it in the tray along with liquids when i go through security so they can see im not trying to hide them.

as for body scanner only time iv been in one was travelling back from new york when i travelled through schipol airport in the netherlands, when all passengers had to go through it... shows up everything... even my coil!

i do think it may be difficult if you have a prosthesis as there didnt seem to be anywhere you could tell them privately but perhaps you could take a written letter from you doc to say you have one if that is the case so you dont need to point it out to them.....

also if you fart in the machine apparently it can even pick up the gas in the scanner!!! so beware of bodily functions lol.

have a fabulous holiday

Lx

Member

Re: Airport security - pills and body scanners!

Have any of you who wear an external prosthesis been through the bodyscanner yet???? When I read the bcc info it made me really nervous.

Member

Re: Airport security - pills and body scanners!

I remember reading somewhere....don't know where sorry....that it is better to keep your pills in the original cardboard packet if possible as it shows your name and that the pills are specifically for YOU. This is a very interesting thread. Val

Member

Re: Airport security - pills and body scanners!

Most airport security staff are usually very understanding about the need to have your medication in your hand luggage. I have a separate ongoing medical condition for which I take a lot of pills and in all the years I've been flying it's never been a problem. I must admit though, that I was surprised I was allowed to take my epi pen on in my handbag. You could do a lot of damage to someone with it, not just the contents but the very long needle, I must have a trustworthy face! 🙂

These days airports are more concerned about anything taken onboard in liquid form, rather than pills. So as long as you have everything properly labeled and some sort of proof (letter or prescription) that it's all yours, it shouldn't be an issue.

Have a wonderful time! xx

Member

Re: Airport security - pills and body scanners!

Hi Everyone, Just seen this thread and thought I'd add my twopennorth. I've been through airport scanners very recently (June) and I have a breast implant. There was no problem at all and I packed my meds in my hand luggage as well as spares in my suitcase. I also took a copy of my prescription, but no one asked to see it. I've just been on a cruise for the last two weeks and the same thing there. Went through all the scanners with no problem.

Hope you have a brilliant time. Lots of love, Dianne x x x

Member

Re: Airport security - pills and body scanners!

Thank you for the replies.

Ok - plan of action for pills is one lot in hand luggage and one lot in suitcase. I don't have my last prescription slip so I'm going to tel nurse practitioner at GP practice and request a letter.

As for the body scanners, I fully support the use of anything that improves security but I just want to know exactly what they can and can't see and also I want to know whether the staff are trained to know about implant reconstructions and will recognise them as this without asking questions. The info on BCC about this is rather vague.

I think they scan one in five at Manchester or something like that. So sod's law is that I will be scanned and I'll probably be so worried about having an awkward conversation that I'll be looking really suspicious anyway!!

Member

Re: Airport security - pills and body scanners!

Hi Nicola,
thank you for posting this - i had no idea about the scanners picking up prostheses !
I am due to fly off on a much needed holiday in 4 weeks time, to America, so this is extremely useful information ,especially as I have bilateral prosthetics. I have been warned!
Hope you have a lovely holidayXXXX

Member

Re: Airport security - pills and body scanners!

Hi Nicola, I have had a typewritten letter in my pill dispenser box for 11 years now and no-one has ever asked to see it yet!
It is on headed notepaper and signed by my GP and reads as follows

" The above named patient is on a number of prescription drugs, including morphine sulphate tablets, which she requires for pain relief."....just looked out the letter and it is dated 18th November 1999!!!
Another thing I do when I go on holiday is split the tablets into two and put in two different areas. So that if anything is stolen or goes missing you will probably have some to fall back on until you sort the problem out.
I haven't been in a plane for a while but intend to fly in the near future and will be interested to hear if anyone has any input re the scanners and implants.

Oh and have a lovely holiday Nicola. Val
Oh and enjoy your holiday Nicola. Val

Member

Re: Airport security - pills and body scanners!

When i was at Gatwick airport in august they werent using the body scanners, i think they are only used if someone looks suspicious.

As far as tablets go, def put in hand luggage in case of flight delay or lost suitcase. My GP told me to take copy of prescription with me (used the tear off bit that i take when renewing).

Have a good time.

Member

Re: Airport security - pills and body scanners!

Hi Nicola,

I would pack your medication in your hand luggage so that there is no risk of being without it if your checked baggage should go astray. There shouldn't be any problem with AI's and security especially if they are in packaging supplied and labeled by your pharmacy but just in case you could take a copy of your prescription with you.

BCC has a page of info on airport scanners which should answer your questions - it's here: http://www.breastcancercare.org.uk/breast-cancer-breast-health/treatment-side-effects/surgery/breast...

Hope that helps and have a lovely holiday!

Linda
xx

Member

Airport security - pills and body scanners!

Hi,

We're going on holiday in 3 weeks, flying out of terminal 2 at Manchester. Haven't been on a plane for about six years so not au fait with current security procedures.

The first thing is do I pack my pills in hand luggage or suitcase. I take AI with my evening meal which will be before we unpack (and also calcium tablets) but wondering whether better to put in my suitcase so no problem at security and also in case suitcase gets lost. On the M'cr airport website, it says proof may be required re medicines. What the heck does that mean? Short of flashing my failed reconstruction and mx scars at them, how else do I "prove" it? I don't really want to bother my GP asking for a letter etc.

Also, the other thing is that I am worrying about the body scanner they now use. It sounds from what I read on the internet that implants will show up on it. Also, I worry that they will be used to seeing cosmetic implants but not implants that fill the whole breast space and that I will then get awkward qus about this. Does anyone have any experience of going through the body scanner with implant reconstruction on both sides?

Thanks in advance for any help. I'm getting stressed at the thought of going which is kind of counter-productive!

Nicola