Airport Security as a Breast Cancer Survivor

Traveling as a breast cancer survivor may be daunting; mastectomy scars and prosthetics may reflect on the body scan during security checks and lead to some awkward and uncomfortable conversations. That is why Nightingale Medical is here to alleviate any fears you have about traveling and provide you with tips to make your travel experience as hassle-free as possible.

Tip 1: Make the appropriate preparations.

It is important to be prepared ahead of time, if you are at all worried about the security screening process it is a good idea to arrive at the airport ahead of time to give yourself enough buffer. Furthermore, if you anticipate needing assistance in any part of the travel process, be sure to let your check-in agent know! That will help in reducing any complications during the security check.

Tip 2: Know your rights.

If at any point in the security process, you are told you need to be pat down by an agent, you are at full liberty to ask for a private room for the process, and notifying the security agent of any underlying medical condition is a good idea to avoid uncomfortable questions. The TSA (Transportation Security Administration) provides a notification card to aid those with disabilities or medical conditions, find the card here. Show the agent this card ahead of the body scan so they can make the appropriate accommodation whilst protecting your privacy.

Tip 3: Research breast prosthesis screening.

If you wear breast prosthesis and decide to put them in your carry-on bag, it does not have to be put in a clear bag even if it has a gel or liquid inside it, but it does have to go through an x-ray screening. However, each airport and airline are different, so it is better to call and double-check the appropriate security measures beforehand.

Tip 4: Put medication in carry-on baggage.

If you must carry medication with you on your travels, pack it in your carry-on bag and not your checked luggage. In the case that you are traveling internationally, it is important to research regulations in terms of what drugs are prohibited from entering the country and to make the appropriate preparations and documents ahead of time.

It can be quite scary to be traveling as a breast cancer survivor, but remember you are not alone, and you deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. Safe travels!


October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month! Breast Cancer Awareness Month is an annual campaign that takes place every October, dedicated to raising awareness about one of the most prevalent and potentially life-threatening diseases affecting women and, in rare cases, men. During this month, individuals, organizations, and communities come together to highlight the importance of early detection, prevention, and treatment of breast cancer.

Learn more about breast cancer and breast cancer awareness month.

Looking for breast care? We are now hosting our annual Fall breast care sale, featuring swimsuits, bras, and breast forms for all your breast care needs! Use the code FALL23 for up to 30% off. Shop the sale!