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Mellissa Laycy

Mellissa, one of Britain’s top plus size models, recently had a breast scare and is now using BreastHealth UK’s self examination reminder service at

Model Mellissa Laycy probably understands more than most the value of being in good health. After overcoming an eating disorder she went on to become one of Britains top plus size models, transforming her lifestyle and her body in the process. Now she is committed to looking after her health, which includes being breast aware. Mellissa, you’ve worked with BreastHealth UK to help raise awareness of breast health in younger women.

How important do you think it is for women in their 20’s and 30’s to check their breasts?
I think it is so important for young women to go and get their breasts checked because breast cancer is the most commonly detected cancer in young women. It doesn’t have to be scary, and if it is done regularly it just becomes the norm. With technology such as the Digital Infrared Breastscan that BreastHealth UK are using today it can be non-invasive and with no compression it is all a bit more relaxed and easy to do.

What approach to eating and exercise do you use to maintain your fabulous curves?
I find yoga really helps with toning and strengthening, and it is a great mind workout too. I use a supplement called Doc Brocs which is a greens drink that helps alkalize your body and keep it to the right pH level. Food wise, I eat loads of blueberries and I have just discovered hemp seeds, which have more protein per gram than meat and are completely digestible by your body unlike animal protein.

How conscientious are you with carrying out regular breast checks?
I do check my breasts regularly as many people I know have suffered from different types of cancer and I think it is so important to keep on top of these things. There is lots of information on BreastHealth UK’s website that will help you to learn how to perform a self assessment quickly and easily. I myself found a lump at the beginning of the year and got it checked out. Luckily it was only a cyst but it’s always better to be safe than to leave it too late.

What would be your one piece of health advice to women in your age group?
Well for starters it is definately worth signing up to BreastHealth UK’s text messaging service, which is just a simple text reminder that comes to your phone to let you know when to perform a self examination based on information about your menstrual cycle. It is easy to forget with the busy rush of everyday life, and so it is always useful to have a reminder.

Besides regular breast checks, how else have you adapted your lifestlye to your new healthy outlook?
I really believe that your mind and emotions have an effect on your physical health, so I do a lot of self development and reading into what makes us happy as human beings. Positive thinking is definately a difficult thing to master, though, especially as we are constantly bombarded with such awful things happening in the papers and on the news.

How do you feel about breaking the mould of size zero models that tends to govern the fashion industry?
There is still a way to go before we completely break down that barrier between the two different modelling groups but we are slowly getting there. It is almost getting back to the era of Marilyn Monroe and Anita Eckberg when curves were sexy and womanly. Overall, plus size models are doing bigger campaigns and getting recognized more now, and I am honoured to be a part of this. Hopefully in the next ten years fashion designers will be embracing us even more.

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