CHICAGO (CBS) -- In a groundbreaking new approach, Northwestern University has opened the country's first ever urology clinic tailored to gay and bisexual men.
CBS 2's Tim McNicholas had a look at the unique program this week.
We met Dr. Channa Amarasekera and Matthew Curtin as they clicked through two-year-old images that first revealed Curtin's prostate cancer.
"The journey is just so – I just feel very fortunate really to have caught it the way I did," Curtin said.
Northwestern Medicine was able to remove Curtin's prostate – a huge relief to Curtin, his husband, and other loved ones. And then he started his recovery – in the middle of a pandemic.
"It as an emotional, physical, and psychological kind of ride," Curtin said, "and I was prepared only for the physical part of it."
Curtin said doctors at Northwestern Medicine connected him with the right resources for all of those needs. Those same doctors were in the process of launching the country's first ever urology clinic tailored to gay and bisexual men – of which Curtin is now a proud patient.
"There was just an unmet need for gay and bisexual men, and sexual minority men in general, for urology," said Dr. Amarasekera.
Dr. Amarasekera is the director of Northwestern's new Gay and Bisexual Men's Urology Program.
"There are differences between gay and bisexual men and straight men," said Dr. Amarasekera. 'You have other organs to think about, like the prostate and rectal health, and other things that matter to non-heterosexual men."
Those patients can also face unique emotional challenges, which is why the clinic connects patients with more than just urologists.
"We have social workers in the clinic, we have sex therapists that we have connections with, and then we think about the patient as a whole," said Dr. Amarasekera.
"I think there might be a hesitancy for some gay men to not trust that medical environment, and as we get older, the importance of it is so critical," added Curtin.
And now, Curtin has a doctor he can laugh and joke with like an old friend – even while looking back on some tough memories.
That clinic is the called the Gay and Bisexual Men's Urology Program.
If you are interested in how this clinic can help you or a loved one, follow this link for more information.
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