'Pirate Oncologist' Combats Cancer Through Characters and Costumes

When it comes to Dr. Jack "Jay" Saux, the little things include radical nail polish, stand-out shoes and an unusual perspective to offer people going through one of the most uncertain moments in their lives.

COVINGTON - It's the little things that matter most in life, the saying goes.

A visit to the St. Tammany Cancer Center can be a sobering reminder of that.

But when it comes to Dr. Jack "Jay" Saux, the little things include radical nail polish, stand-out shoes and an unusual perspective to offer people going through one of the most uncertain moments in their lives.

"It's just silly," he said, "And it takes, it think it takes the focus off of a lot of things in a clinic.  It takes the focus off of somebody dealing with this really heavy issue."


Dr. Saux uses his eccentric personality, in a 5' 2" frame, to balance his emotional medical practice, oncology, and the grueling battle to save his patients from cancer.

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It's a dark job, which admittedly weighs on him personally too.  Dr. Saux has colorful characters to help himself and his patients mentally combat its challenges.  They range from a laid-back, no-white-coat kind of office style, to his most notorious, and natural role, as a physician pirate.

"They have this terrible disease, you're spending a lot of time preparing treatments and helping them get through the toxicities and side effects of treatments" he said, "And the thing they appreciate the most is when you sat down and held their hand or told them a story or let them take a picture of you in your costume."

"I just love him," said one of his nurses, "He's the best doctor there could be."

Dr. Saux is unforgettable and unapologetic about it.

"This wasn't purposeful. It just started happening," he said, "I like the image. I like that people think that about me. And I do really try to just do my thing and not worry so much about what somebody might think about it."

It's why he's so beloved by patients, their families and the community as a whole, as evidenced on the walls and shelves of his office.

"He kind of livens up the area when he comes in.  He's not typical of a chemo doctor," said patient Collins Arcement, "He's been everything they said he was going to be, and maybe more."

"If you have to go through this, there's no one better than going through it with Dr. Saux," said Gloria Arcement.
 
Saux believes the best medicine is laughter, while fun is the recommended treatment for fear.  To Dr. Saux, saving lives is, and always will be, about the little things.

Dr. Saux can be found in quirky attire outside of the office as well.  Throughout the year, he attends numerous fundraisers in costume to help raise money for various efforts including cancer research, mental illness and children's causes.

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