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TSA Makes Cancer Victim Remove Prosthetic Breast

A flight attendant and cancer survivor said she was forced to remove and show her prosthetic breast to a TSA agent during a security pat-down.

Cathy Bossi of Charlotte, who has been a flight attendant for the past 32 years, told CBS Affiliate WBTV that in August she was asked to go through the new full-body scanners at Charlotte Douglas International Airport.

As a 3-year breast cancer survivor Bossi said she didn't want the added radiation through her body, but reluctantly agreed.

"The TSA agent told me to put my ID on my back," Boss told WBTV correspondent Molly Grantham. "When I got out of there, she said because my ID was on my back, I had to go to a personal screening area."

Bossi was taken to a private room where two female Charlotte TSA agents began what she calls an "aggressive" pat-down.

Bossi said the exam halted when they got around to feeling her right breast - the one where she'd had surgery.

"She put her full hand on my breast and said, 'What is this?' Bossi recalled. "And I said, 'It's my prosthesis because I've had breast cancer.' And she said, 'Well, you'll need to show me that.'"

Bossi was asked to remove her prosthetic breast from her bra and show it to the agent.

She said she did not take down the name of the agent because of the "horrific" nature of the experience.

"It just blew my mind. I couldn't believe that somebody had done that to me,'" she told WBTV.

Bossi has since contacted the flight attendants union's Legislative Affairs Team.

She says there are better alternatives to such intrusive examinations.

"There are blowers and there are dogs that could sniff out bombs," she said. "There's no reason to have somebody's hands touching your body parts."

A TSA representative told WBTV that agents are allowed to ask to see and touch any passenger's prosthetic, but aren't supposed to remove them. Later, the TSA contacted the station and said they would review the Bossi matter.

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