Airport security

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I have been through breast cancer treatment, chemo, radiotherapy and surgery. Lymph node’s removed. Large parts of Breasts removed.
On going through airport security I am always patted down and directed to go through the X-ray machine.

I was told that my underarm keeps showing up as something suspicious.

Has anyone experienced this and is there anything anyone can suggest to make this easier when going through security. I’m not asking for special treatment, its just that sometimes when being patted down the security ladies have been a bit brutal, I am still very tender and can’t fully stretch my arms above my head for the screening.

Any advice would be very much appreciated

Kind regards

  • Hi, when I go through and am stopped to be patted down I always quietly ask them to be careful when touching my breast and say I had breast cancer, and this is usually acknowledged. It can be difficult sometimes I must admit, but most security staff are pretty good when you explain, in my experience. Best wishes 

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  • Hi Both

    I'm worried about the same thing. I am travelling in a few weeks and have a portacath and a temporary expander (that has a port), so I am expecting to send the scanner berserk. Is it ever more than patting you down? Scared they'll think I have planted something under my skin!!

    Don't want my kids to be embarrassed.



  • Hi, I travel frequently for work and never been pulled aside for more than the usual pat down. Sometimes my watch sets off the scanner, so suggest to leave that off to minimise reasons for it to bleep. Usually when I explain the cancer they are considerate. Best of luck 

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  • I have a metal hip. I also have part of an exploded ablation probe stuck in my liver. I also have a portacath. I always trigger the machines. I carry copies of my discharge notes from the procedures with me but have never needed to use them once I have told them I have a metal hip, which is obviously the biggest trigger to the machines. In large UK airports like Gatwick they usually direct me to a special machine and that’s it, but it’s always been a pat down in overseas airports including large ones like CDG. And yes they are intrusive but are usually understanding. 

  • Husband had his first hip replacement while he was still at work and flew regularly (he was only 47 when he had it done) and used to say jokingly at home, before he left, ‘I’m going to tell them, if you can find it, you can have it’! But I suspect he didn’t ever get stopped….

    Hugs xxx


  • Since my mastectomy l always go through without a prothesis after being stopped. My replacement knees have caused problems, but l make sure l can show the white scar lines.

    My worst encounter was at Moscow airport, where l was hit with a wooden paddle when l didn’t lift my arms up quickly enough!


  • Argh! That’s horrible! 

    Hugs xxx