By DR. GEORGE BURFORD.
THROUGHOUT the civilized world, particularly in the European countries, a powerful movement has developed to place cancer in the therapeutic zone. Its representatives urge that cancer should no longer be regarded as sacrosanct to surgery. The apostles of the new dispensation strangely and significantly include in their number certain of the great, wise and eminent surgeons themselves.
The celebrated John Hunter, in the eighteenth century, voiced his discontent with the absence of a cure in the true sense, complaining “no cure has yet been found”. In later times other Presidents of the Royal College of Surgeons have taken up the complaint in the same strain. Thus Sir John Bland Sutton has stated: “In fifty years cancer will be a curable malady,” and by way of amplification he added: “We shall know by that time how to activate efficiency the resources of the body against malignancy.” Sir Arbuthnot Lanes considered judgment is to the same end, and he imparts specificity into such activation by his crusade against chronic intestinal stasis, commonly called constipation.
Sir Alfred Pearce Gould, when surgeon to the Cancer Department of the Middlesex Hospital, could not refrain from expressing his conviction, based upon wide experience, that ” there must be a cure for cancer”, having observed that derelict and apparently hopeless cases occasionally recovered spontaneously. Before the Royal Society of Medicine an address was given by Professor Goldmann, who gave a list of no fewer than two hundred bonafide cases of cancer which had undergone spontaneous recovery. It therefore is only reasonable to enquire; ” If unaided Nature can achieve this, why cannot medical art do as well or better?”.
Independent observations relating to cancer cures, either spontaneous or induced by treatment, have begun to accumulate in numbers. Professor Calmette, head of the Pasteur Institute in Paris, noted that in the tropics persons suffering from cancer recovered not infrequently after they had been bitten by a cobra. Recently it was observed in the West Indies that bites of venomous reptiles were followed on occasion by cures of such disease as leprosy and cancer.
The lead thus obtained from abroad was followed by Professor Calmette, who employed at the Pasteur Institute a glycerine extract of cobra venom, greatly attenuated, and this treatment is now largely used in France for the treatment of cancer. Particulars about this treatment have been published in “HEAL THYSELF”.
Dr. Nebel, of Lausanne, a homoeopath, had for some years regarded cancer as a parasitic disease, and he isolated a micro- organism which he considered the specific cause. He used this organism to produce an anti-toxin serviceable for recovery. Dr. Magian, in England, has conducted an elaborate research into the use of placenta and ovaries as protective and curative agencies in malignant disease, and he appears to have obtained remarkable results.
Among the homoeopaths Drs. J. Compton Burnett, J. H. Clarke, and Robert T. Cooper have blazed the trail for other workers in medicinal cancer treatment to follow. In the orthodox school of medicine the same ferment inspired workers who endeavoured to find an effective control of the cancer menace by the use of radium, X-rays, lead, etc.
The pharmacology of medicinal cancer treatment is to a great extent especial to itself. It is by no means purely homoeopathic although the inspiring spirit of homoeopathy has kept alive the vision of a more effective method of preventing and curing cancer and of reducing the mortality from that disease.
NEWER HOMOEOPATHIC REMEDIES.
The selection of cancer remedies is at the discretion of every individual physician, and, although the whole materia medica of homoeopathy is at his disposal, some of the newer remedies are specific to cancer treatment of this age.
Carcinosin. A preparation introduced by Dr. Burnett, is derived from cancer tissue. It is usually prescribed in the 200th potency.
Pix maligna is a preparation from the tar actually used in laboratories for the production of cancer in animals, and in some experiments it has produced cancer in 100 per cent. of the cases, when outwardly applied; but internal malignant developments have also been observed. This substance compiles with the homoeopathic requirement of Similarity, but it has as yet not been proved on human beings.
The various remedies prepared by Dr. Cahis, of Barcelona, such as Carcinotoxin, Anthracotoxin, Sarcomatoxin, and numerous others. These are preparations of the toxins of various infective maladies, and they are given as combinations of certain high potencies of each remedy. Dr. Cahis says that such preparations may be frequently repeated, for instance three to four times daily, over indefinite periods without any fear of anaphylaxis. Dr. Cahis has claimed that many cases of malignant disease have been treated successfully by these preparations and similar ones.
The Lysins of Dr. Nebel. These remedies are prepared on the basic idea that the cure of malignant disease may be brought about by preparations made on the theory that cancerous growths are the product of microbic causes. Nebels Lysins are prepared by isolation and cultivation in the usual way. Nebels remedies are usually administered hypodermically and they have been found effective both in the treatment of cancer and of sarcoma.
Plumbum iodatum. At a recent Homoeopathic Congress at Geneva, during a discussion on the medicinal treatment of cancer, the audience was startled by the declaration of Dr. Denoncin, of Brussels, that he had treated successfully some thirty cases of tumours of the breast of various kinds, mainly malignant, with this remedy in comparatively low potency. The choice of this particular medicament came originally from America, and it was taken up by Dr. Denoncin with the above-mentioned astonishing results. In this country the value of Plumbum iodatum in cancer treatment has as yet to be established.
Cancer virus (Guyon Richards). The virus of cancer growths, as obtained by Dr. Gye, has been used by Dr. Guyon Richards as a basic material for attenuation in the usual way and it has been employed in lower potencies than the similar preparations of Burnett and Heath, as well as in high potencies.
The ArboriVital Remedies of Dr. Cooper. These organic substances are obtained from plants actually growing; they are taken in full sunlight, and tinctures are made of the whole plants. They were introduced and successfully used in single dosage at somewhat prolonged intervals in malignant and other maladies. They have been utilized over a sufficient period of time to fully justify their reputation as remedies in cases of malignancy.
Naturally with a wider and deeper range of interest in cancer treatment by medicine, there came an amplification of remedial measures employed in combating the disease, and over and above the strictly homoeopathic adjustment of remedy to malady based on symptoms, in accordance with the principle that like cures like, there has been brought to the light of day a number of empirical remedies which have justified their inclusion in a survey of cancer treatment by medicine.
CANCER REMEDIES OF THE EMPIRICAL TYPE.
Sodium cacodylate. This, an organic salt of arsenic, contains in its molecule an atom of carbon. Arsenic may be administered in this organic form in heavier doses than would otherwise be tolerated. It is broken down in the body only to a slight extent. The writer has used this preparation systematically in cases of malignancy and has found it of signal service. It has been observed that the drug acts well alike in sarcoma and cancer.
The Serpent Poisons (Naja, Lachesis). The venom of the cobra, which homoeopaths use under the name of Naja, has been therapeutically used in recent times at the Pasteur Institute of Paris in cases of malignancy. It is stated that it relieves the pains of cancer in practically all instances, allowing morphia to be dispensed with; that it often heals the ulceration of cancer, and sometimes causes cancerous deposits to be absorbed.
When the sufferer is already jaundiced, cobra venom seems to be of no avail. The preparation used is a glycerine extract which is given at the commencement twice weekly and hypodermically.
Sodium oleate. The original work of Drs. Shaw-Mackenzie and Albert Wilson (some done in the laboratory of the London Homoeopathic Hospital before the War) has been followed up in later time by Dr. E. Cronin Lowe. The theoretical basis for its use is to be found in the view that Sodium oleate tends to activate the protective “prolipase” already existent in the system. It may be administered hypodermically or by the mouth.
Animal Serum. Dr. Albert Wilson, an indomitable researcher, wishing to rid the world of the cancer menace, used serum derived from the blood of the goat, obtained antiseptically, for the relief of a bad case of cancer of the breast. The patient was cured. However, the method was not followed up because of the prejudice existing against such a procedure.
Placental and Ovarian Extract. By far the most promising of all empirical methods for the treatment of malignancy is that by placental-ovarian extract, used by injection under the skin. This has been chiefly developed by Dr. Magian, who concluded that the placenta probably gave to the foetus-in-utero protection against infection from concurrent maternal cancer which it undoubtedly possesses.
In accordance with this assumption, when a Caesarean operation is performed on a woman, the removed placenta is antiseptically preserved and is converted into a glycerine extract. It is therefore not an animal preparation against which various objections might be raised, but a human product which is obtained in the ordinary course of conservative midwifery. It is available for malignant disease in both sexes.
The writer has seen excellent results follow its use in local recurrence of cancer after operation, in cases of metastasis where the spinal nerve roots were involved, in post- operative partial paralysis, such as hemiplegia, paraplegia,etc. Its use is generally preceded by the Bendien test.
Yeast. This well-known organic substances has been used in various cases, pre-operative and post-operative, of malignancy recalcitant to other treatments. Dr. John Round is one of the chief original workers with this remedy, which is used as an adjuvant and not as a primary remedy. In cases treated by Naja (cobra poison) or its congeners after the homoeopathic method yeast is an important accessory.
The inclusion of the medicinal treatment of cancer within the zone of daily medical practice would be the most splendid advance that the present century could provide. In depth and range its issue would be as fateful as the work of Pasteur was to the science and art of medicine. There is a logical reason why the next great advance in cancer treatment shall be in this direction.
The long record of spontaneous recoveries from malignant disease and the lengthening list of cures compassed by homoeopathy justifies anticipation. Probably much preliminary work is still requisite before the first principles of such medicinal treatment can be stated with the definiteness which will convince and compel.