Keeping up with the Dr Joneses

Gillian McAinsh

KEEPING up with the Joneses can be tricky in medical circles because Port Elizabeth has two medical specialists with the same surname and initial: oncologist Dr L Jones, who treats a lot of breast cancer cases, and specialist surgeon Dr L Jones, who often operates on the same individual.

It’s not even worth asking which one is the woman cancer specialist, as both are. Dr Lee Ann Jones works at GVI Oncology, while surgeon Dr Linda Jones often will operate on one of Dr Jones’s patients.

In fact, the confusion became so much when Dr Linda Jones left state employ in 2011 to start her own practice that she decided to “double-barrel” her surname and now goes professionally by the name of Dr Linda Whitelock-Jones. Until then she had worked at the Dora Nginza Burns Unit as Dr Jones.

Both doctors are married but have kept their own surnames and at one stage worked in the same building at GVI Oncology which added to the potential for patients arriving at the wrong rooms. “Linda got a lot of my x-rays while I got patients coming in for hernias!” joked Lee Ann last week. Although both women see cancer patients, Jones generally will treat using chemotherapy and radiation while Whitelock-Jones is a surgeon who performs biopsies and mastectomies – and both are committed to educating their patients and the public on taking care of their health.

Cricket Eastern Cape has invited Whitelock-Jones to address its guests at its breast cancer awareness high tea on Tuesday October 29, while Jones gave a radio interview on Bay FM studios on the same subject just a few days ago.

“I will be speaking on risk assessment as a lot of women mis-assess their risk,” said Whitelock Jones.

Jones’sfocus is slightly different but no less important: “It’s very important for women to go for their screening and have regular mammogram because if they go earlier there is more chance of catching it and treating it successfully,” said the oncologist.

The Chevrolet Warriors have been playing their matches in October – breast cancer awareness month – in pink caps. The tea is being organised by the women in their lives and the players will be will be going still further for the cause by serving guests themselves. The event will feature stories from two breast cancer survivors and proceeds will go to the Reach for Recovery Foundation.

The tea is at 4pm tomorrow in the President’s Suite at the Centenary Pavilion. Tickets are R100 each from Axxess St George’s ticket office, and include tea, prizes and giveaways.

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