TSA screening and PCa

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pogmothoin
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Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 84
   Posted 11/19/2010 8:36 AM (GMT -6)   
I've been reading about the new TSA screening procedures, with a choice between low-level radiation screening or invasive pat-downs. While they talk about how minimal the radiation exposure is, I feel like I'm already fighting cancer and even though part of that will involve targeted radiation treatments, I don't need to add in additional radiation run by non-medical personnel and with unknown calibration standards.

On top of that, if I wind up with a penile implant (which I view as likely within the next few years), I really don't care to discuss that with some TSA flunky in public before going through one of these machines. That's a point where medical privacy should come into play.

Of course you can opt-out in favor of a pat-down but I view it as absurd that we're expected to consent to a stranger's hands inside my pants, and even underwear (not sure if this is routine but I've read multiple accounts of it happening), as a condition to travel on a plane.

Steve n Dallas
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Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 4848
   Posted 11/19/2010 9:57 AM (GMT -6)   
There's always the choo choo train or the bus.

pogmothoin
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Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 84
   Posted 11/19/2010 10:17 AM (GMT -6)   
Yeah, that doesn't work so well when you need to travel across the country and back over the course of a few days. I'll happily drive for trips under 500 miles, but when you're talking about 2000 or more there isn't another realistic option.

compiler
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 7269
   Posted 11/19/2010 2:20 PM (GMT -6)   
This is a great point.
 
My wife and I have been discussing that the last week.
 
We are flying to Tampa for a cruise in December.
 
I have decided to refuse the scan and do the pat-down. I do not want any excess radiation as I may be facing SRT soon.
 
Hopefully, it will be a moot point as I understand these machines are not everywhere. True?
 
Does anyone know about Tampa?
 
I assume it is not in my small local Michigan airport.
 
Mel

TinFoilHat
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 51
   Posted 11/19/2010 2:30 PM (GMT -6)   
I wandered into this thread expecting a funny "I've had a bazillion DREs over the past few years, having a TSA flunky fondle my junk is no big deal" thread.

I'm leaving disappointed. ;-)
Jeff

Age: 49 (09/61)

PSAs: 12/08 - 1.8, 12/09 - 2.5, 6/10 - 3.9, 8/10 - 5.7

Biopsy 8/10: 14 samples, 5 positive, Gleason: 3 + 3

open RP 9/23/2010

Post Op Path: Organ contained, Gleason 3+3, nerve bundles spared, negative margin.

6 week post-op PSA < .01

bsjoplin
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 308
   Posted 11/19/2010 2:34 PM (GMT -6)   
seems like your friendly neighborhood radiation oncologist would be a good authority to ask....
just a thought...
bob
Age@dx:55
5/05 PSA:1.8
12/07 PSA:3.7
7/08 PSA:4.7
8/08 Biopsy#1:3 of 6 irreg
11/08 PSA:6.5
12/08 Biopsy#2:of 12,3 cancer,other 9 irreg;Gl:3+3=6
1/22/09 RRP
1/25/09 Released
1/28/09 Path: PCa on 10%, lymph & SV benign, Gl:3+4=7,stage T2c
2/13/09 PSA:0.1
6/09 PSA:0.1
10/09 PSA:0.1
2/10 PSA:0.3
4/10 PSA:0.4 Referred to RO
5/4/10 First RT
6/25/10 Final RT;ended up 36 treatments,64.8 Gy.
8/10 PSA:0.2
11/10 PSA: 0.1

LV-TX
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 966
   Posted 11/19/2010 2:41 PM (GMT -6)   
Well....guess I will say this.

No one absolutely no one is going to pat down my wife...and she will not be scanned to have it visible to everyone. A simple search on the internet and you can find all sorts of photos of scans taken. It just isn't secure in my opinion.
You are beating back cancer, so hold your head up with dignity

Les

Signature details in Sticky Post above - page 2

Fairwind
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 3887
   Posted 11/19/2010 2:54 PM (GMT -6)   
The public outcry about these new "Full Monty" screenings is intense. The heat is on. I don't expect them to be used much longer..

The claim is, these machines use a new x-ray technique called "back-scatter" which forms an image without exposing the target to hardly any radiation..They use it extensively at U.S. - Mexico border crossings where 18 wheeler semi-trucks are scanned. It penetrates the entire truck and it's cargo while the driver sits in the cab, which is included in the scan..

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Backscatter_X-ray

lnwm
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 21
   Posted 11/19/2010 4:19 PM (GMT -6)   
Les - how will your wife get to where you are going then since she will not be on the plane with you? No scan or no pat down = no boarding.

I've searched the internet for these scans and only find the ones published by some media outlet. These scans are about as sexy as a bunch of farm girls in flannel (nothing against farm girls - raised on a farm and married a farm girl). But really???

The only concern I would have is the amount of radiation each time you are scanned and how do they keep the machines calibrated.

Just waiting for those wanting to wreck havoc on us is a way to get the explosive up the wazzo and board the plane.
Age 58 Gleason 6 T1C 7/12 samples with 5%-40%. No prior family history of cancer.
Da Vinci Oct 6 2010. Negative margins. Gleason raised to 3+4. Both nerve bundles spared.
First post-op PSA on Nov 17.

Purgatory
Elite Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 25393
   Posted 11/19/2010 5:05 PM (GMT -6)   
Mel: The Tampa International Airport has all the new gear, so expect it. But you can fly to Clearwater, FL instead, like we did a year or so ago, much smaller airport, no fancy screening gear, easy to get on a plane. Still in the Tampa-St. Petersburg area.
Age: 58, 56 dx, PSA: 7/07 5.8, 10/08 16.3
3rd Biopsy: 9/08 7 of 7 Positive, 40-90%, Gleason 4+3
open RP: 11/08, on catheters for 101 days
Path Rpt: Gleason 3+4, pT2c, 42g, 20% cancer, 1 pos marg
Incont & ED: None
Post Surgery PSA: 2/09 .05,5/09 .1, 6/09 .11. 8/09 .16
Post SRT PSA: 1/10 .12, 4/8 .04, 8/6 .06 11/10 Not taking it
Latest: 6 Corr Surgeries to Bladder Neck, SP Catheter since 10/1/9, SRT 39 Sess/72 gy ended 11/09, 21 Catheters, Ileal Conduit Surgery 9/23/10

compiler
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 7269
   Posted 11/19/2010 5:36 PM (GMT -6)   
David:
 
I'm already booked to Tampa.
 
I guess I'll report on the pat-down.
 
Mel

Casey59
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 3172
   Posted 11/19/2010 5:44 PM (GMT -6)   
I wouldn't worry about the radiation.  You will get exposed to a higher level of radiation during the flight than passing through the new screening...a miniscule amount.

Worried Guy
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 3739
   Posted 11/19/2010 7:23 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey! I'm incontinent! Wait till they see my full pee pad in the scan. I wonder if it will look like an underwear bomb.
"Please don't squeeze it! Please don't squeez...Oops! Is there a bathroom around here?"

Jeff (the leaking one)

Fairwind
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 3887
   Posted 11/19/2010 7:30 PM (GMT -6)   
Public outrage is mounting..Lawsuits up the WaZoo, Mel, by the time you fly down to Tampa, I expect the machines will be back in the warehouse..It's not like they ever caught a terrorist, they haven't...but this is not the place...

Purgatory
Elite Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 25393
   Posted 11/19/2010 7:33 PM (GMT -6)   
I flew with a Foley Catheter and a leg bag hooked up with a huge rubber hose, they never mentioned my gear, they were obsessed with my
loafers at the time. Let's see, that particular leg bag could hold 500 ml of liquid anything. Interesting.
Age: 58, 56 dx, PSA: 7/07 5.8, 10/08 16.3
3rd Biopsy: 9/08 7 of 7 Positive, 40-90%, Gleason 4+3
open RP: 11/08, on catheters for 101 days
Path Rpt: Gleason 3+4, pT2c, 42g, 20% cancer, 1 pos marg
Incont & ED: None
Post Surgery PSA: 2/09 .05,5/09 .1, 6/09 .11. 8/09 .16
Post SRT PSA: 1/10 .12, 4/8 .04, 8/6 .06 11/10 Not taking it
Latest: 6 Corr Surgeries to Bladder Neck, SP Catheter since 10/1/9, SRT 39 Sess/72 gy ended 11/09, 21 Catheters, Ileal Conduit Surgery 9/23/10

fulltlt
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2010
Total Posts : 264
   Posted 11/19/2010 10:07 PM (GMT -6)   
Do the new airport scanners pick up the seed implants? I have 91 seeds of palladium 103 encased in titanium. I do have a card I carry with me proving that I have the implants. Does anyone have any real world experience to report on this?
age 57 2/2010
PSA 8.2 2/2010
biopsy 2/2010 - 2 of 8 left & 2 of 8 right positive, Gleason 3+4=7
attended support group - advised to get a second opinion
second opinion on pathology from John Hopkins 4+4=8
PSA 15 4/2010 just before EBRT began
5 weeks EBRT 4/2010-6/2010 at Copley Hospital in Aurora, IL
91 implants of palladium 103 7/2010 at Chicago Prostate Center, Westmont, IL
PSA 3.97 10/2010

geezer99
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 990
   Posted 11/19/2010 10:32 PM (GMT -6)   
An interesting statistic -- Your chances of getting cancer from a TSA scan are about equal to your chances of dieing on a plane because of a terrorist bomb. Interestingly, your chances of getting hit by lightening are ten times either of the above.
Age at diagnosis 66, PSA 5.5
Biopsy 12/08 12 cores, 8 positive
Gleason 3+4=7
CAT scan, Bone scan 1/09 both negative.

Robotic surgery 03/03/09 Catheter Out 03/08/09
Pathology: Lymph nodes & Seminal vesicles negative
Margins positive, Capsular penetration extensive Gleason 4+3=7
6 weeks: 1 pad/day, 1 pad/night -- mostly dry at night.
10 weeks: no pad at night -- slight leakage day/1 pad.
3 mo. PSA 0.0 - now light pads
6 mo. PSA 0.00 -- 1 light pad/day
9 mo. PSA 0.00 -- 1 light pad/day ED remains
12 mo. PSA 0.00 -- still one light pad and ED
16 mo PSA 0.00 -- light pad just for security, ED still an issue

compiler
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 7269
   Posted 11/20/2010 1:35 AM (GMT -6)   
Geezer:
 
You are missing my point. I am sure that the probability of getting cancer from any one x-ray is almost nil. It is the cumulative effect that is a cause for concern (not just for cancer, but other physical problems).
 
My concern is the fact that I am likely to be doing SRT. Now THAT is a LOT of radiation (500,000 chest x-rays according to an expert who spoke at our support group). Consequently, I would like to minimize other x-ray exposure.
 
Additionally, I have no knowledge of how much radiation we would get from these new devices. Casey indicates it is truly minimal (less than we get from the plane flight itself). I have not seen any source to confirm that.
 
Mel

Steve n Dallas
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 4848
   Posted 11/20/2010 5:27 AM (GMT -6)   
TSA forces cancer survivor to show prosthetic breast
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/40278427/ns/travel-news

A longtime Charlotte, N.C., flight attendant and cancer survivor told a local television station  that she was forced to show her prosthetic breast during a pat-down.
 

Willie B
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 155
   Posted 11/20/2010 10:24 AM (GMT -6)   
Yep, it's pretty disgusting with these 'enhanced pat downs'.

My wife has a pacemaker and says she'll never fly again after her last 'pat down'.

We used to travel a lot and they used the back of their hands and stayed away from your private areas, just checking around the breast area.

We've flown once since the 'underwear bomber' and my wife had a totally humiliating, public grope down.

They now use the palms of their hands and fingers (!!) to check out the breasts and groin areas.

They also turned down the waistband of her slacks and checked out her undies.......wayyyy over the top!

So our last flight was just that, our LAST flight. Our lack of money is not the reason though.

We did see some fella in the XRay scanner at the Halifax Airport in July.

Halifax has a very small airport but it had the whole 'security arsenal'.
 
I DID wonder what they'd make of my pad if they patted me down! 
 
Good luck with THAT, according to the above article, you'll probably have to prove it by showing it off!!
 
Enough already, IMO.

Post Edited (Willie B) : 11/20/2010 8:27:29 AM (GMT-7)


Casey59
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Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 3172
   Posted 11/20/2010 11:42 AM (GMT -6)   
compiler said...
Casey indicates it is truly minimal (less than we get from the plane flight itself). I have not seen any source to confirm that.
 
 
 

C’mon, Mel.  You should know by now that I don’t shoot from the hip...   cool  

 

Cosmic, ionizing radiation is a part of our natural environment, and we are constantly exposed to low levels.  Get in a plane and you get more radiation than on the earth's surface because at higher altitudes there is less shielding from the earth’s atmosphere.  In fact, fly close to the equator and you will get more than if you fly closer to the poles because of the angle of incidence.

 

A full-body x-ray security system delivers less radiation than the dose a person receives during 4 minutes of airline flight.

 

Read-up here:  http://www.fda.gov/Radiation-EmittingProducts/RadiationEmittingProductsandProcedures/SecuritySystems/ucm227201.htm

 

I know that sensatinalism grabs headlines and attention, but there's nothing like data to squash some of the recklessness flying around; witness, for example, pogmothion's reference to "unknown calibration standards" in the initial posting.


Sunbird
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 140
   Posted 11/20/2010 12:08 PM (GMT -6)   
When I recently went through the full body scan, the female TSA Agent said, "Sir, did you know your prostate gland is missing?" I replied, "yes, he recently packed up and left the neighborhood because he tired of living next door to a prick and a couple of nuts."

142
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 7080
   Posted 11/20/2010 12:21 PM (GMT -6)   
Mel,
 
If the scan gives you the radiation of one xray, and the RT gives you the radiation of 500,000 xrays (I'm not checking the validity of those statements), then you will get either 2 or 4 extra against 500,000. (You might change planes and have an extra).
 
In my mind the choice to do the 500,000 makes the 2 absurdly irrelevant for a normal holiday traveler - if you did it every day, the question is very different. Cutting out two is a nice "less radiation" banner to wave, but is it significant? I do not think so.
 
The real question should be the level of the search. I fear that the pads seen in the scan will trigger the pat down, which will then delay everything while I am turned inside out and have explain the pads in a most public place. But, while all this is going on, your personal stuff, bag, watch, wallet, etc., is in a box on the belt where anyone can just pick it up and keep walking. That has happened to me multiple times, even just walking through the detector.
 
 

Willie B
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 155
   Posted 11/20/2010 12:28 PM (GMT -6)   
Just read an article that infuriated me in the Greeley Gazette, dated Nov 19th.

Napolitano Considering having Muslim Women Pat Themselves Down!

The Council on American-Islamic Relations states that Muslim women are to only allow their head/neck areas to be patted down.

Pilots Association is suggesting that pilots who are upset at pat downs book off sick.

It's all in the one article, along with other tidbits. Ridiculous!

pogmothoin
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 84
   Posted 11/20/2010 6:18 PM (GMT -6)   
I've read plenty of info on how minimal the radiation exposure is supposed to be. That makes the presumption that all the machines always function properly. These things are in high-volume usage, far more than a typical x-ray machine at a hospital. They're being operated by people that don't have an impressive level of training for this type of equipment. Any radiation-generating equipment in a medical setting has expensive maintenance routines and regular calibration. I don't exactly have confidence that they'll all operate as advertised, and since I'm already fighting cancer I do see that as an unnecessary risk.
 
I'd also rather not show off a damp Depends or (in my likely future) a penile implant. I feel like HIPAA privacy standards are tossed out the window if we're supposed to talk about this sort of stuff in public with non-medical personnel.
 
This isn't meant to be a political thread, but to discuss the hazards and impact of this kind of screening on guys in our situation.
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