April is Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Month. Beaumont Cancer Center, Farmington Hills will hold a free, community event to screen people for head and neck cancers on Saturday, April 22, from 9 a.m. to noon at 27900 Grand River Ave., Farmington Hills. Registration is required and appointments are limited. Call 248-471-8120 to register.
At previous head and neck cancer screening events, cancers have been detected and the people went on to obtain treatment. Cancer screenings save lives.
Most head and neck cancers begin in those areas lined with moist surfaces, such as the nasal cavity, sinus, salivary glands, throat, voice box or lips. Symptoms can include a lump or sore that doesn’t heal, a sore throat that doesn’t go away, difficulty swallowing or a change or hoarseness in the voice.
According to the National Cancer Institute, alcohol and tobacco use, including smokeless tobacco, are the two most important risk factors for head and neck cancers. At least 75 percent of head and neck cancers are caused by tobacco and alcohol use.
Head and neck cancers account for about 3 percent of all cancers in the U.S. These cancers are nearly twice as common among men as they are among women. Head and neck cancers are also diagnosed more often among people age 50 and older than they are among younger people.