Trace Allen and Pancreatic Cancer UK
Tri-Force member and Triathlete legend Trace Allen passed away in 2017 after a long-fought battle with pancreatic cancer. Trace was determined to fight the disease right from when it was diagnosed. He remained a great presence at training sessions and races during this time, and is greatly missed. Trace was Chair of Trustees for Pancreatic Cancer UK for a number of years and dedicated much of his time and energy to raising awareness of it and generating support for those affected. He inspired so many people, and we are honoured to dedicate the HSV Sprint Triathlon to his memory.
This is a exert of an article in TriNews August 2006:
Pancreatic Cancer Patient Races Surgeon
Trace Allen is a former Great Britain triathlete who was told he had an inoperable tumor today raced the surgeon who saved his life to raise awareness of pancreatic cancer.
Trace Allen, 62, and consultant surgeon Arjun Shankar who treated him at University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust went head-to-head in the British 10K London Run on Sunday to raise the profile of pancreatic cancer and the work of Pancreatic Cancer UK.
Trace, of Welwyn in Hertfordshire and a former 'age group' triathlete, was diagnosed with cancer in October 2004 after suddenly turning yellow with jaundice. After an initial operation he was told the tumor - which was too large and had become wrapped around the main portal vein - was inoperable.
Mr Shankar and his oncologist treated Trace with both chemotherapy and radiotherapy and remarkably the tumor began to gradually reduce. Pancreatic cancer is a stubborn cancer and rarely responds well to treatment. It has the lowest survival rates. Trace was lucky and Mr Shankar was able to operate on Trace again in May 2005 to remove the tumor. Trace also had chemotherapy following his surgery to improve his prospects.
Trace said Mr Shankar had been responsible for saving his life. "Without him I wouldn't be alive now. If it's inoperable but hasn't spread as in my case then normally you can expect to live about a year with chemotherapy and on average patients only survive about 3-6months. But they decided to have a go using chemo-radiotherapy on top of the latest combination chemotherapy. It worked and I feel I have been given a second chance."
Trace said Mr Shankar had been impressed with his fitness which had helped him to respond so well to treatment.
"We talked a lot about running and fitness," Trace said. "Mr Shankar had run a little before but I increased his enthusiasm for it - I think I inspired him. He challenged me to a race when I got better and I was eager to take him on."
They ran with Trace's wife Joy and completed the race in blistering heat in about 1 hour after taking 30mins to cross the starting line.
Trace said after the race " It was great to run with Mr Shankar - I am his trainer now! I was slower than before my treatment but am now training for a triathlon at the end of August and Great North Run."
Pancreatic Cancer UK founder Sue Ballard said "it was an 'amazing feat' for Trace to be taking part in the race after such extensive treatment. It is great that he is raising awareness of this disease and the need for improved diagnosis and treatment options so that more patients can resume a near normal life."
" We are working to ensure more research takes place. We need to get more patients diagnosed earlier so that they can have surgery without the need for prior treatment, we need to develop and test more effective treatments and we need to understand why some patients respond better than others to treatment." she added.
To find out more about pancreatic cancer and the charity PancreaticCancer UK see their web-site Pancreatic Cancer UK
Contact the Pancreatic Cancer UK office at 0203 177 1686
Pancreatic cancer is the most deadly cancer with only 13 in 100 patients still alive one year after diagnosis and just two in 100 surviving five years. The cancer is normally diagnosed too late for surgery which offers the best outcome. Only one in 10 patients are able to have surgery to remove the affected part of the pancreas and other parts of the digestive system For many patients there are no obvious symptoms of pancreatic cancer until jaundice occurs but possible warning signs include unexplained weight loss, extreme tiredness, weaknesses, depression and changes in bowel motion such as diarrhoea and fatty stools. Other patients may have more severe symptoms such as diabetes and abdominal and back pain.