NEW YORK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) - Studies show that historically, men have been 33 percent less likely than women to go the doctor, but the Mount Sinai Health System in New York has a bold new makeover idea to change that trend.
Man Cave Health opens this week, tapping into New Yorker's love of their local sports teams to get more men tested for prostate cancer, reports CBSN New York's John Dias.
"Our initiative is to try and get men to go the doctor in a more comforting environment than your traditional waiting room," said Thomas Milana, Jr.
The Man Cave Health waiting room features televisions, jerseys from local sports teams, and shelves of actual sports memorabilia donated by the Jets, Giants, Mets and Knicks organizations, as well as some items given by private donors.
"All of the major sports teams stepped up and donated at least one piece to the Man Cave, and they promised to keep donating," said Milana. "Even though I'm not a Jets fan, that signed ball from Joe Namath is a pretty special piece."
The idea for the waiting room came after Milana's prostate cancer diagnosis in 2016, after which he became an advocate for cancer survivors and health awareness.
"We feel we are invisible, we are afraid of sometimes finding out things," said Dr. Ash Tewari, chairman of Department of Urology Mount Sinai Healthcare System. "We take better care of our cars than we do our bodies."
Tewari says last year, more than 29,000 American men lost their lives to prostate cancer, which is why preventive health is key.
"If we show up to a doctor, before things have gone wrong, I think a lot can be done," he said.
The first Man Cave Health suite debuts Wednesday at the Mount Sinai Department of Urology's midtown practice at 625 Madison Avenue. It will be open for patients to use Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Milana's group aims to expand the Man Cave concept to markets all across the country.
"We hope to open 12 to 15 in the next three to five years in cities where sports is a pretty powerful thing," he said.
Next up will be a Man Cave Health location in Orlando, Fla., featuring Florida-themed sports teams, and then another in New York out on Long Island.
Other medical facilities are doing likewise. The White Plains Hospital Center for Cancer Care has installed a massage room for those waiting, and at the Burke Rehabilitation Hospital, there's a tranquility room.
"Anything you can do to take away that anxiety and stress and make it more enjoyable and better experience for the person that is about to go see the doctor, its something that is long overdue," said Roy Judelson of Midtown East.
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