From the Gazette - Earp: Carolina’s capacity to prevent and treat cancer must continue to grow

Shelley Earp is not going anywhere, but at year’s end he will leave a position he has held for the past 16 years as director of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.

He’ll continue his role as the first director of UNC Cancer Care, a position that coordinates cancer care and research across the University, the School of Medicine and UNC Health Care. Bill Roper, dean of the School of Medicine and CEO of the UNC Health Care System, appointed Earp to the position.

Earp spoke to the Board of Trustees last month about the impact of UNC Lineberger in preventing, detecting and treating cancer. Afterward, the trustees and everyone attending the meeting gave him a standing ovation.

Cancer, Earp said, is a disease that has affected every family in the world.

“This is a big problem: 1.6 million people in this country have cancer and that number will rise to 2 million by the end of the decade as the population continues to age,” he explained.

Efforts to treat the disease represent 4 percent to 5 percent of the United States’ gross national product.

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