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Elle Macpherson: 'I thought I had cancer'

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On her 49th birthday Elle Macpherson discovered a lump in her breast, leaving the top model to fear for the worst. It was this health scare that led the mum-of-two to re-evaluate her lifestyle and make some drastic changes, first focusing on her diet.

"I thought I had cancer," Elle said in a new interview. "I was away shooting Britain and Ireland's Next Top Model, so I couldn't see my doctor and I was really panicking.

"It was four weeks before I got the biopsy results, so it was a long-drawn-out and stressful period of not knowing."

Elle Macpherson discovered a lump in her breast on her 49th birthday

Elle, who gained the nickname The Body in the eighties, added to The Mail on Sunday: "I was lucky – it was a fibroadenoma [a benign growth of fibrous tissue], but it was a really big warning. I did some soul searching and realised that maybe I was taking the wrong vitamins and minerals, not eating properly and was too stressed."

At the time the Australian beauty functioned on just three to four hours sleep a night and jetted between London, Australia, New York and Los Angeles for work.

"I’d put the boys to bed at 9 or 10pm and work until 2am because that was the only quiet time," said Elle. "Then I'd get up at 6am. I did that for years. I thought I was incredibly productive. The first thing I'd put into my body each morning was an espresso to kick-start my day."

"I'm not one who can mess about with plastic surgery at this point," admitted Elle

Her poor sleeping pattern and a diet of too much red meat and dairy and not enough greens led to fatigue, achy joints and an imbalanced digestion. Elle went to a Harley Street nutritionist who explained that her diet was too acidic – and she decided that the change had to come from the inside.

"I'm not one who can mess about with plastic surgery at this point," said Elle. "I started sleeping more, woke up with more water, ate less red meat, added more fruit and vegetables and within weeks I felt like a completely different person."

Her doctor created a super green blend especially for her that included barley grass, wheat grass and spirulina. "I didn't realise how these relatively small changes to my routine could make me feel and look so much better," said Elle.

"Laughter is very important to us," the model, pictured with husband Jeffrey Soffer, said

Apart from her renewed health, another factor that is affecting the model's happiness is her husband of two years, hotel billionaire Jeffrey Soffer. The couple wed in Fiji in 2013 and have gone from strength to strength.

"My husband likes to water ski, paddleboard, snow ski, hike and spin, so we do a lot of that together," said Elle. "Laughter is very important to us too."

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