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Ward 3 Councilman Kevin Dahl says he has throat cancer, expects 'complete cure'

Tucson City Councilman Kevin Dahl said Friday he has throat cancer, however, doctors have told him he has a 97 percent chance of a "complete cure."

The Ward 3 Democrat announced his diagnosis in an email newsletter, writing while he will undergo "aggressive treatment" over next few months, including radiation and chemotherapy, he will continue to work and attend Council meetings.

Ward 3 includes Northwest Side and North Side neighborhoods such as Barrio Blue Moon, Flowing Wells, Dodge Flower and Jefferson Park.

"My hardworking staff at Ward 3 will fill in the gaps when I need to take off a day or two," he said. "I also have a great support team: my wife, son, other family members, and close friends."

Dahl linked his cancer to HPV,  or the human papillomavirus.  "I have never been a smoker," he wrote, adding his cancer was caused by HPV and he was infected "years ago."

Dahl noted HPV is now preventable due to a widely available vaccine.

HPV can be prevented by a routine vaccination at age 11 or 12, and the shots are also effective up to age 26 for those who missed the earlier window, Dahl wrote. Along with mitigating cancers of the mouth, tongue and throat, the HPV vaccine also blocks 95 percent of cervical cancers.

A conservationist and environmental activist, Dahl was sworn into office to represent Ward 3 on Dec. 6 after winning the November 2021 election, winning 57 percent of the citywide vote to beat the Republican Alan Harwell and independent Lucy LiBosha.

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Paul Ingram/TucsonSentinel.com

Ward 3 Councilman Kevin Dahl speaks after winning his bid in the November 2021 election.