ABC7 Stars: Bay Area cancer survivor helps others with support group

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men other than skin cancer.

Stan Rosenfeld doesn't seem to know he's 80 years old. The Fairfax man certainly doesn't act his age.

"I had been playing 6 days a week, I had a herniated disk, I'm getting that fixed, so it's three days a week now," said Rosenfeld.

Today, his opponent is his 87-year-old friend, Herb. But twenty years ago he was in a match with much higher stakes.

"It was 1997. My wife and I went do the doctor and was told I had prostate cancer. And it was very, very, very, scary," said Rosenfeld.

"His journey with prostate cancer started when he came into my office," said Dr. Peter Carroll, the Chair of Urology UCSF.

Dr. Carroll at UCSF is a leader in his field. Carroll would help save Rosenfeld with surgery and radiation. But Rosenfeld needed something medicine couldn't provide.

"I went to a support group. The support group that I now help run," said Rosenfeld.

For nearly 18 years he has been welcoming men to Marin General Hospital. As far as he knows, this is the only weekly support group for men with prostate cancer in the country.

"Men want to talk to other men right away and share their experiences," said Rosenfeld.

He figures 1300 men have come through the support group over the years. and when they need help outside of these walls he's there too.

Like at the Napa Prostate Cancer Run and Walk put on by another group he volunteers with called "Zero."

Through his patient advocacy work at UCSF, Rosenfeld has even taught something to his own doctor, the head of urology.

"He's helped me kind of slow down a little bit and think a little more about the entire spectrum of disease that this is and the journeys men make. I think in regards to Stan Rosenfeld, what a remarkable world this would be if we had a few more people just like him," said Dr. Carroll.

When Rosenfeld beat cancer, he could have said 'game, Set, Match,'' instead, he's doing everything he can to make sure the next man in his shoes has someone there to listen.

"I just love helping people," said Rosenfeld.

The American Cancer Society says 1 in 7 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. The key is early detection. Hopefully you'll never be diagnosed, but if you are, you have a friend in Stan Rosenfeld.

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