Since there was evidence the cancer had already spread to other parts of my body, she was now incurable.
With a family history for breast cancer, Leighton started mammograms at 35. The tests didn't show cancer, but there was one thing her doctor didn't tell her. Her breasts were dense, which can makes the x-ray difficult to read. Instead of sending her for additional testing, such as an ultrasound or MRI, the doctor never brought it up.
Leighton's case isn't that unusual. The National Cancer Institute says mammograms miss up to 20% of breast cancers.
Which is why New York's legislature just passed a bill requiring health care providers to notify women if their breasts are dense so they can discuss other options with their doctors. The medical community is mostly opposed. They are concerned the legislation could lead to unnecessary testing.
Doctor Freya Schnabel says it's important for doctors and patients to know all the facts.
Knowledge about density coupled with risk assessment should be part of the conversation about how each woman should be screened for breast cancer
Leighton didn't get that opportunity.
Her doctors say she has a one in six chance of living three years and they're trying to find a treatment to help beat those odds.