A series of free oral cancer screenings, in recognition of April as Head and Neck Cancers Awareness Month, got under way Monday with UI Health Head of Otolaryngology Barry Wenig, MD, MPH, FACS, conducting screenings at the new UI Health Specialty Care Building.

More free screenings are available throughout the month at UI Health, Mile Square Health Center sites and the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) College of Dentistry. Remaining dates, times and locations are below. No appointments are necessary. Screenings take 10 to 15 minutes.

April 18: UIC College of Dentistry, 801 S. Paulina Street, 9 a.m. – 12: 30 p.m.

April 21: UI Health Specialty Care Building, 1009 S. Wood St., 6th floor, 1 – 4 p.m.

April 26: Mile Square Health Center – Auburn Gresham, 839 W. 79th St., 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

April 27: Mile Square Health Center – Back of the Yards, 4630 S. Bishop St., 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

For Mile Square Health Center screenings, you can also call the Dental Department at 312-996-2000 or email mshcdental@uic.edu.

Important things to know about oral cancer screenings:

  • Oral cancer screening is an opportunity to have 1-on-1 one time with a trained licensed oral health expert.
  • Oral cancer in Chicago is a racial disparity issue because there are south and west communities that have higher rates of incidence than other communities.
  • There is growing evidence that poor oral health increases risk for oral cancer.
  • Black males are at highest risk to die from oral cancer compared with other males.
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