health care

The University of Arizona Cancer Center and Banner- University Medicine will host free head and neck cancer screenings for the public on Saturday.

The day will begin with an education session at 9 a.m. followed by cancer screenings from 10 a.m. to noon. The event will be held at the UA Cancer Center — North Campus, Building 2, 3838 N. Campbell Ave.

Dental professionals, as well as members of the general public, are invited, organizers say.

Alcohol and tobacco are major risk factors for cancers of the head and neck. All tobacco products, including cigarettes, cigars, pipes and smokeless tobacco are linked to head and neck cancer (except for salivary gland cancers), the CDC says.

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Drinking any type of alcohol, such as beer, wine, or liquor, also raises the risk of getting cancers of the mouth, throat, and voice box. About 70 percent of cancers in the oropharynx, which includes the tonsils, soft palate and base of the tongue, are linked to human papillomavirus (HPV), a common sexually transmitted virus.

About twice as many men as women get head and neck cancers.