Mount Sinai transforms doctor's office into a 'man cave' to help save men's lives

UPPER EAST SIDE (WABC) -- Driven by the notion that "men take better care of their cars than they do their bodies," Man Cave Health is breaking the silence surrounding sensitive health topics for men.

"I sure don't feel well, but do I really have to go to the doctor?"

That's a question all of us ask at one point or another -- men and women, alike. But when it comes to going to the doctor, guys are just typically more stubborn.

So to get them there, Mount Sinai in New York City created a doctor's office that would make men feel a lot more at home. It's called Man Cave Health. Think big screen TVs, plush leather seats and signed sports memorabilia. The second I walked in, I thought, "This is the room men strive to have in their house... and if they are so lucky, it's the one room their wife probably despises."

To really put this place to the test, Ryan Field checks it out for our very first episode of Man Lab! He learns the importance of regular check-ups and how Man Cave Health came to be.

"For some strange reason, men can't take one hour out of their year to get checked. And that's what the mission of Man Cave Health is, to drive men to go to the doctor and get checked."

Those are the words of Thomas Milana, Jr, whose own experience was the springboard to the creation of Man Cave Health. In November 2015, Milana received an alarming blood test result during a routine doctor visit revealing that he had a high PSA. He underwent a series of tests that ultimately came back positive for prostate cancer.

Milana came to two realizations at that point. One, how difficult living with a cancer diagnosis can be and two, how few resources there are outside of the internet for men when it comes to their health.

Men rarely talk about their medical conditions and from a young age while playing sports, studies show how male athletes more often feel pressure to play through pain and injury. That may translate into ignoring pain or symptoms that may be signs of disease later in life.

Milana wanted to keep men in the game, the game of life. And thus, Man Cave Health was born. It's a unique patient care model combining educational resources, emotional support and the latest in medical technology where men will feel free to talk about their health.

And what better way to entice men to go to the doctors than combining it with something most men love: Sports. Man Cave Health is creating sports-themed facilities replacing the traditional, clinical setting with a luxurious and private waiting area with masculine décor, which includes memorabilia from local sports teams, flat-screened televisions, leather seating, and coffee bars while providing educational resources on health.

It was earlier this year, Mount Sinai Health System in New York unveiled the first Man Cave at its Midtown Manhattan urology practice. Five more Man Caves are in the works and will eventually roll out across the country where men can feel at ease, complete with a team of friends, medical professionals, educators, and advocates ready to help them take control of their healthcare journey.

In sticking with the sports theme, you want stats? How about this: There are more than 2.9 million men living with prostate cancer in this country alone. In fact, most men never talk about it and their silence is deafening. It is also potentially deadly. Men will die, on average, almost five years earlier than women because they are less likely to seek preventive care for themselves.

Upon hearing those numbers, I didn't want to take any chances. Sure, as a 41-year old male, I'm probably a little young to be too concerned about prostate cancer, but what about other potential issues? I hadn't been to the doctor's office for a routine check-up in years, so I was long overdue for a visit.

The best part? I got to see several specialists within the hour, going room to room, doctor to doctor, to make sure I was covered from head to toe ... literally. And you know what? Dr. Ashutosh Tewari, a world-renowned urologist and chair of urology for the Mount Sinai Health System, found something he didn't like during my prostate exam. As a result, I had to get an MRI. The results came back negative, which gave me a peace of mind that everything was OK, but further proved my point that had I not gotten checked out, who knows if something worse could've developed in the long run.

Oh yeah, as for Milana's routine doctor's visit that led to his prostate cancer diagnosis? Five months later, he had successful robotic surgery and remains 100% cancer-free today.

So stop asking "do I really have to go to the doctor?" and make that appointment today... your life just may depend on it.

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