The Anchorage Democrat, who has undergone a mastectomy, was ordered to submit to a hands-on pat-down after a full-body scan showed an irregularity in her chest. Cissna said later in a statement that she had submitted to a pat-down three months earlier and had vowed never to submit to “that horror” again.
Regarding passengers such as Cissna who have medical conditions or disabilities, the Transportation Security Administration‘s website says:
Security Officers will need to see and touch your prosthetic device, cast or support brace as part of the screening process.
The section on “assistive devices and mobility aids” goes on to assure special-needs passengers that they will be violated in the kindest, gentlest way possible.
The Anchorage Daily News‘ Alaska Politics Blog has the full text of Cissna’s statement that details the incident.