A breast cancer survivor said she was subjected to a humiliating public pat down at New York's John F. Kennedy Airport even though she offered to produce documentation on her medical implants.
Lori Dorn, 44, a New York business consultant, says on her blog website that the pat down added insult to injury and humiliated her.
She was trying to catch her flight headed to San Francisco last week when a full-body scanner at the security checkpoint detected the false implants.
After being diagnosed with breast cancer earlier in March, Dorn underwent a bilateral mastectomy in April as well as chemotherapy treatment, which reportedly ended in September, according to The New York Times.
Dorn said the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) refused to let her retrieve documentation, according to the Associated Press.
I explained to the agent that I was a breast cancer patient and had a bilateral mastectomy in April and had tissue expanders put in to make way for reconstruction at a later date, Dorn wrote on her personal blog.
Usually women who are at high risk of developing breast cancer may consider getting a preventive mastectomy, which involves the removal of one or both breasts in an effort to prevent or reduce the risk of the disease, according to the National Cancer Institute.
On Monday, Dorn posted on her Twitter account that an official at Kennedy called her to apologize.
Lisa Farbstein, a TSA spokeswoman, told the AP that Dorn's medical documentation wouldn't have spared her a pat-down but that it would have been down privately.
We do our best to treat passengers with the dignity and respect they deserve, but in Lori Dorn’s case, it looks like we missed our mark. We sincerely regret and apologize for the experience Mrs. Dorn had at JFK, TSA officials wrote in a recent blog post on the federal agency's site.
The agency went on to list suggestions at airport security checkpoints for breast cancer patients:
Private screening can be requested by any passenger for any reason and in situations such as this one, our officers should offer it.
Medical cards, whether from a physician or TSA, do not exempt you from screening.