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Unusual cancer patient advocates for screening

HOUSTON, TEXAS (November28, 2016)

Michael Petersen graduated college in 2013 and was just starting a new life in Houston, full of friends, hunting trips and weekends with his girlfriend, when he got the call the day before Thanksgiving in 2015 that made him question if any of the plans he had for his future would ever come true. Then 24, and lying in bed in his Heights-area home while his parents ruminated downstairs, he answered the call they all had been waiting for. The majority of people - 90 percent - diagnosed with colon cancer are over age 50, said Dr. Scott McKnight, Petersen's oncologist and colon and rectal surgeon affiliated with Memorial Hermann Memorial City Medical Center and assistant professor of surgery at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth. It's very unusual for someone Petersen's age to be diagnosed with colon cancer, said McKnight, who continues to screen him with periodic colonoscopys, which Petersen will have to do regularly for the next five years.

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