Walter J. Scott

Walter J. Scott M.D.

Chief, Division of Thoracic Surgery

Specialty: Thoracic Surgery
Medical Treatment Center: Fox Chase Cancer Center 333 Cottman Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19111

About Dr. Scott

Walter Scott, M.D., is a surgical oncologist and Division Chief of Thoracic Surgery at Philadelphia’s Fox Chase Cancer Center, a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center that offers various multidisciplinary treatment options for patients with mesothelioma and lung cancer.

Scott also serves as director for minimally invasive lung cancer surgery at Fox Chase, where he specializes in surgical techniques that use small incisions. For patients, minimally invasive surgery can significantly decrease post-surgical pain, shorten hospital stays and reduce recovery time.

Fox Chase is home to one of the nation’s top lung cancer treatment centers, and Scott is a valued member of its experienced team of thoracic surgeons. Depending on the patient’s diagnosis, treatment for mesothelioma and lung cancer may include some combination of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

Fast Fact: Dr. Scott was the first Delaware Valley surgeon to investigate the use of ultrasound bronchoscopy to evaluate lymph nodes of the chest — a technique that can reduce the need for invasive surgery.

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Latest Technology

Scott offers his patients the latest advances in surgical technology and minimally invasive techniques. His areas of clinical expertise include VATS lobectomy, lung cancer staging with PET scanning, and robot-assisted surgery with the ViKY system.

In a video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) lobectomy, Scott uses a camera and special instruments to remove a lobe of a cancerous lung using two to four small incisions. For some patients, this technique offers improved results over traditional open lobectomies, which require a single 6- to 10-inch incision down the center of the chest.

Fox Chase surgeons also use VATS to perform lung and pleural biopsies, as well as wedge resections and lobectomies for patients with various cancers of the lung, esophagus, mediastinum and the chest wall.

“I believe in treating patients in the same way that I would want a member of my family to be treated. By listening to each patient, and after a thorough discussion of all the available treatments, I strive to develop an individually-tailored treatment plan–one that offers the best chance for cure but also recognizes the importance of quality of life.” – Walter Scott, M.D.

Before crafting a personalized cancer treatment plan, Scott answers all questions his patients may have and listens to their concerns. Once he has determined a patient’s unique needs, he plans a course of treatment that offers the greatest chance of a cure while maintaining a good quality of life.

Focus on Research

In addition to treatment, Scott also has a strong commitment to mesothelioma and lung cancer research. He has served as a principal investigator and co-investigator in numerous national and international clinical trials. Scott has also authored and co-authored many scientific journal articles, presentations and books, including a guidebook for patients and caregivers titled “Lung Cancer: A Guide to Diagnosis and Treatment.”

Scott is a member of several professional medical societies, including the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the American College of Surgeons, the American College of Chest Physicians, the American Association for Thoracic Surgery and the Society of Thoracic Surgeons.

Scott earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Houston in 1977 and went on to receive an M.D. from the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine in 1981. He remained at the University of Chicago after graduation, serving his residency in general surgery in 1987 and his cardiothoracic residency in 1989. In 2009, Philadelphia Magazine named Scott in its list of “Top Doctors” in the field of thoracic surgery.

Additional Resources

  1. Fox Chase Cancer Center. (n.d.). Walter J Scott, MD, FACS. Retrieved from
  2. Fox Chase Cancer Center. (n.d.). Lung Cancer: A Guide to Diagnosis and Treatment. Retrieved from
  3. Fox Chase Cancer Center. (n.d.). Mesothelioma. Retrieved from
  4. Fox Chase Cancer Center. (n.d.). The Gloria and Edmund M. Dunn Chair in Thoracic Surgical Oncology. Retrieved from
  5. Fox Chase Cancer Center. (2011, May 2). Fox Chase Physicians Listed Among Region’s Best in Philadelphia Magazine 2011 “Top Doctors” Issue. Retrieved from
  6. Fox Chase Cancer Center. (n.d.). Lung Cancer. Retrieved from
  7. Fox Chase Cancer Center. (n.d.). Video-Assisted Thoracic Surgery. Retrieved from
  8. Fox Chase Cancer Center. (n.d.). Why Fox Chase is Among Best Lung Cancer Treatment Centers. Retrieved from

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