In a move that illustrates the importance and predominance of cancer research at U.T. Southwestern in Dallas, Dr. W. Phil Evans,director of the UT Southwestern Center for Breast Care, today was inducted as the national president of the American Cancer Society.
Dr. Evans, professor of radiology at UT Southwestern Medical Center, is a 25-year American Cancer Society volunteer and will serve for the next year as a leader and primary volunteer spokesman on medical issues. The American Cancer Society, which is the largest voluntary health organization fighting cancer in the U.S., plans to spend the next year focusing on reducing cancer deaths and suffering through prevention, early detection and treatment.
Dr. Evans stated, “We want this to be a world without cancer. Since 1990, there are 350 more people each day whose lives have been saved thanks to the American Cancer Society and others. If we apply the things we know to do – such as appropriate screening, tobacco control, healthy diet and increased physical activity – we can move to 1,000 lives a day saved.”
Dr. Evans is a Texas native, and graduated from UT Southwestern in 1972 and returned as a member of the faculty in 2002. A year later, he became director of the Center for Breast Care, a cornerstone of UT Southwestern’s Harold C. Simmons Cancer Center, which is the only National Cancer Institute-designated center in North Texas.
His leadership in multi-institutional studies paved the way for the nation’s switch from film to digital mammography and improved breast cancer screening for high-risk patients by combining mammography with ultrasound.
Dr. Daniel K. Podolsky, president of UT Southwestern, said the new appointment reflects the leading role embraced by the medical center in the research and treatment of cancer. “We know that Dr. Evans will bring great vision and outstanding leadership to his new role as president of the American Cancer Society. We at UT Southwestern are enormously proud of Dr. Evans’ accomplishments as a member of our faculty, where he has distinguished himself as a clinician, scholar and patient advocate,” Dr. Podolsky said.
Dr. Evans is himself a cancer survivor, having undergone kidney surgery for renal cell carcinoma about 15 years ago. He said his personal experience continues to inform his interactions with patients and strengthens his desire to advocate on their behalf. “As a doctor, I’m frequently talking to patients about their cancer diagnosis. It was surprising to be on the other end of that conversation,” Dr. Evans said. “I know what it is like to be told you have cancer. I strongly support the mission of eliminating cancer from everyone’s lives.”
Visit www.utsouthwestern.org/cancer to learn more about clinical services at UT Southwestern for cancer.