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My father was an Ear, Nose and Throat Surgeon and was one of the early pioneers in microscopic ear surgery in the 1950s and 1960s. I obviously thought he was doing an interesting job and apparently at the age of 4 years I announced that I wanted to be a surgeon like him.

Training and Clinical Experience

Peter Rhŷs Evans was educated at Ampleforth College in Yorkshire and in 1971, like his father before him, he qualified as a doctor from St. Bartholomew’s Medical School (Bart’s). Following his basic training as a House Surgeon at Bart’s, he then trained in Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) and Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery in London and Birmingham.

At that time, treatment for head and neck cancer was mainly with radiotherapy, and surgical reconstruction had not really changed over 50 years. However, new techniques were being introduced from Europe and America and he decided to spend a year from 1980-1981 as a Resident Surgeon at the Gustave-Roussy Cancer Institute in Paris while studying for a postgraduate degree in Head and Neck Cancer Surgery and Oncology at the University of Paris, gaining a unique French qualification for a UK graduate. It was also a good excuse to live in Paris for a year!

On his return in 1981 he was appointed Consultant ENT surgeon at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham and Senior Lecturer at the University. The following year he was awarded the Lionel Colldege Fellowship from the Royal College of Surgeons to spend time in America studying head and neck reconstructive techniques, including voice and swallowing restoration following total laryngectomy (removal of the voice box for cancer).

During his time in Birmingham he continued with his research projects, pioneering developments in head and neck reconstructive surgery and designing instruments for the newly introduced Carbon Dioxide laser for microsurgery of the throat and voice box. He also did important research in nasal surgery and was part of the research team who discovered the previously unexplained final pathway mechanism for hearing in the inner ear, using a new specialist electron microscope.

In 1986, he was invited to take on the post of Chief of ENT/Head and Neck Surgery at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London, where he remained in post until 2016. He is also Honorary Civilian Consultant to the Royal Navy and has been Visiting Consultant ENT Surgeon to Gibraltar for 20 years. He was an examiner for the Royal College of Surgeons for 12 years and Assistant Editor of the Journal of Laryngology and Otology for almost a decade.
Apart from his general ear, nose and throat practice, his special interests are in swallowing, nasal and voice problems, the treatment of thyroid and salivary gland disorders, including goitres and other benign and malignant tumours, and other lumps in the neck.

Apart from his general ear, nose and throat practice, his special interests are in swallowing and voice problems, the treatment of thyroid and salivary gland disorders, including goitres and other benign and malignant tumours, and other lumps in the neck. Currently he is involved with developing new robotic surgical techniques for treating throat cancers.


With over 200 scientific publications including six books, he has been an active contributor to the specialty. Peter’s award-winning 32 chapter textbook, Principles and Practice of Head and Neck Surgery and Oncology, first published in 2003 with a second edition in 2009, won a prestigious award for the best international publication in Otolaryngology during the previous five years.

He has presented over 320 major lectures in 26 different countries worldwide, and is a member of various international societies and committees, which reflect Peter’s valued reputation in his specialty. 

Charity and Voluntary Work

He has been pleased to work as Honorary Consultant Surgeon for St. Luke’s Hospital for the Clergy for a number of years and is a member of their Medical Advisory Committee.

Peter is Founder and Executive Chairman of Oracle Cancer Trust which is the largest charity in the UK raising funds for head and neck cancer research. Since 2001 he has been responsible for raising over £6 million for this research and, with his colleagues, for establishing a very active research programme. Mouth and throat cancers are much more common in developing countries and he has spent some time working and teaching in India, Colombia and South Africa. Peter is Honorary Patron of the charity Cancer Aid and Research Foundation, based in Mumbai, India.

His outside interests include the arts and music, and he is a Trustee and Board Member of the successful Petworth Music and Literary Festivals.


One of his long-term research interests has been in a new theory of Human Evolution. He delivered the prestigious 2017 Arris and Gale Lecture from the Royal College of Surgeons (dating from 1545) on this theory and his new book: The Waterside Ape – An Alternative Account of Human Evolution is due to be published later in 2018.

In 2013 he organised an International Conference on Human Evolution in London with the help of Sir David Attenborough and has been involved in two other programmes with him on this very controversial subject.