Cancer prevention is action taken to lower the chance of getting cancer. In addition to the physical problems and emotional distress caused by cancer, the high costs of care are also a burden to patients, their families, and to the public. By preventing cancer, the number of new cases of cancer is lowered. Hopefully, this will reduce the burden of cancer and lower the number of deaths caused by cancer.

The Centers for Disease Control categorizes prevention in two categories:

Primary Prevention—intervening before health effects occur, through measures such as vaccinations, altering risky behaviors (poor eating habits, tobacco use), and banning substances known to be associated with a disease or health condition.

Secondary Prevention—screening to identify diseases in the earliest stages, before the onset of signs and symptoms, through measures such as mammography and regular blood pressure testing.

Our efforts through the EPWC address both types of prevention.

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Screenings are tests that look for diseases before you have symptoms.
Screening tests can find diseases early, when they’re easier to treat.

If you are uninsured or underinsured, you may quality for certain free health screenings through the NJCEED Program. The NJCEED Program provides comprehensive outreach, education, and screening services for breast, cervical, colorectal, and prostate cancers.

There programs provide services to residents of Essex and Passaic County, including:

  • Education
  • Outreach
  • Screening
  • Case Management
  • Tracking

  • Follow-Up

  • Facilitation into Treatment

Early Detection

The goal of regular screenings is to detect disease early enough to treat it most effectively. The early detection may lead to a better overall prognosis and longer survival.

Alcohol Use

According to the National Cancer Institute, there is a strong scientific consensus that alcohol drinking can cause several types of cancer.

In its Report on Carcinogens, the National Toxicology Program of the US Department of Health and Human Services lists consumption of alcoholic beverages as a known human carcinogen.

The evidence indicates that the more alcohol a person drinks—particularly the more alcohol a person drinks regularly over time—the higher his or her risk of developing an alcohol-associated cancer.

Learn more about the cancer risks associated with alcohol consumption

Alcohol & Cancer Risk Factors

Tobacco Use

Our collective efforts to reduce tobacco use, are multifaceted:

  • Tobacco Free for a Healthy NJ (TFHNJ) is a statewide project focusing on increasing residents’ access to smoke-free air where they work, live, and play. 
  • Outdoor Recreation Ordinances (ORO): Many municipalities in Burlington and Camden counties have adopted OROs and are smoke-free.
  • One of the ways to reduce youth access to cigarettes, ENDS (electronic nicotine delivery systems), and hookah is by implementing point-of-sale (POS) strategies in establishments that sell these products, particularly within municipalities where retailers are in close proximity to schools.
  • Tobacco Retailer Audits are conducted to assure compliance with state guidelines.
  • In addition, the EPWC has paid special attention to addressing e-cigarettes and hookah given their increasing use. You can view more information about e-cigarettes and hookah here.
Find a Local Program


A healthy diet helps to prevent a variety of diseases and can assist with the management of many chronic conditions.

The U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has a wealth of resources on their website at

Additionally, proper nutrition can help those undergoing treatment programs and navigating life after disease. You can also find nutrition resources for people with cancer and cancer survivors, on topics including eating, food safety, and dietary supplements on the USDA website:

USDA Website

Physical Activity

Physical activity is anything that gets your body moving!

Movement has many benefits, including reducing obesity, which is a known risk factor for a variety of cancers. If you are wondering how much physical activity is right for you, and need some ideas on activities to try and how to fit them in, you can learn more:

Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website

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