New Brunswick, N.J., June 28, 2021 – According to the American Cancer Society, cancer is the second leading cause of death among Americans. Researchers believe that one way to decrease the risk of developing cancer is adopting a healthy lifestyle. This includes maintaining a healthy weight, staying physically active, managing stress, avoiding alcohol, not smoking, taking preventative measures against the sun and avoiding exposure to cancer causing agents such as certain chemicals, led and asbestos.

As New Jersey’s only NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, together with RWJBarnabas Health, conducts research which seeks to understand determinants of cancer risk, treatment and survival and quality of life outcomes to educate individuals on how to engage in healthy lifestyle choices that will help prevent cancer and other chronic conditions.

“Our behavior and lifestyle play major roles in whether we get cancer or not. Some of the most important things we can do to prevent many different types of cancers are to quit smoking, be physical active, maintain a healthy weight and eat nutritious foods, get vaccinated for HPV and hepatitis B, and protect the skin from the sun and indoor tanning,” said Carolyn J. Heckman, PhD, Co-leader of the Cancer Prevention and Control Research Program at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and associate professor of medicine at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. “Changing habits like these can be challenging, and there are people and resources to help. Let’s take care of ourselves and our loved ones!”

“Your lifestyle choices can play a huge role in cancer prevention.  Research has shown that your risk of developing cancer decreases considerably when you are able to maintain a healthy weight, be physically active and consume a plant-based diet, said Kristin Waldron, RD, CSO, a clinical dietitian at Rutgers Cancer Institute. When it comes to what we eat, it is important to keep in mind that there is no one food that can prevent cancer. Consuming a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans and other plant foods can provide you with an array of antioxidants and phytochemicals that can aid in cancer prevention.”

Dr. Heckman and Kristin Waldron are available to discuss cancer risk, ways to reduce the risk of developing cancer and recommended health guidelines for cancer prevention.