Search icon

Fight of Your Life

18th Jul 2018

Episode 5: How food beats cancer

Eat well, live well

Oli Dugmore

Eat well, live well

“I packed in eating meat last year, then started again. Gave up once I was diagnosed, I don’t find it appealing at all now,” Dylan Evans says. His diet consists largely of greens and fish, not too dissimilar from a fighter’s weight cut diet. Just without the sweat suits and saunas. This time the fight’s against cancer and every vitamin counts.

Dylan gave up his full-time job to make a go of becoming a professional MMA fighter. Then, in January, he was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma. Given the OK by his haematologist, it’s a casual couple sessions of chemo to go before Dylan can hope to never walk through the door of a hospital again. Although, that’s unlikely, given his predisposition toward cage fighting.

“I don’t like the idea of whacking an animal.”

Dylan follows by shrugging my suggestion that fish are also animals: “Nah, fuck them… I’m a hypocrite what can I say.”

I won’t be the one to judge a proper diet for someone going through a treatment process like his. But no meat or dairy doesn’t seem like a bad place to inhabit.

Eating right alleviates a lot of Dylan’s symptoms. He’s made the mistake of eating a pizza immediately after chemotherapy and enjoying stomach cramps and constipation for the week or so that followed. Over time he’s learnt to avoid food immediately after the cannula goes in – the chemo leaves him “gassy and bloated.”

Still, he know the first thing he’s going to eat once he gets clear of the hospital.

“Oh pizza, no doubt, and 15 factory farmed chickens deep-fried in butter.”