Internal and external Cancer

Different approach for Internal and external cancer, like cancer of neck and cancer of breast….

Cancer, internal and external; in contrast. Case of Cancer in both neck and breast. Case of Breast Cancer. The treatment of abdominal cancer quite different from that of the breast. Ferrum picricum in Warty Growths. Two cases of Lupoid Warts.

THE division of cancer into internal and external is not one that will meet with the approval of the modern scientists, who is nothing if not a pathologist.

As no road is worthy of the name that does not lead to Earl’s Court, so no classification of disease is worthy of consideration that does not meet the requirements of pathology; nevertheless, this simple classification into internal and external cancers is an absolutely necessary one when the question of the curability of the disease has to be considered.

The cases given show that the breaking down of many of the internal cancers is a very simple affair indeed, and that satisfactory evidence is readily obtainable of the possibility of effecting this desirable result.

The evidence of the influence of unit doses upon the external forms of cancer, of which the cancers of the breast form by far the larger proportion, is by no means so completely satisfactory; the cancers of external parts, speaking very broadly, require a longer period of time before the tremendous power of the arborivital doses manifests itself by evident diminution in size, and moreover, it is more difficult to get the cancer germs, pent up as they are in the form of swellings, to disperse when thus localised.

This statement is left as written; it requires qualification. it is perfectly accurate as regards breast cancers, but in the scirrhous swellings of the neck, I find as proved by the next case as well as that reported at p. 15, that remedies act very promptly, though even then a curative issue is not always assured.

It is from numerous observations that I draw the conclusion that cancer, especially in a cumulated form, can be easily acted on, and that if the practitioner wishes to disperse it he must exercise great delicacy of manipulation, so to speak, with his remedies. Above all things he must give the disease rest, a rest particularly from medicine; which is really another way of saying with Hahnemann, that as long as the action of the remedy continues, it ought not to be interfered with. “Chronic Diseases,” by S. Hahnemann, vol. i., p. 155. New York, Radde, 1845.

Take, for example, this experience. A lady, at the age of 73 years, sought my advice under these circumstances. She had on the left side of the neck a scirrhous cancer, which had existed for some twenty years, and upon which she had had a severe blow six years before. The effect of the blow was to cause this growth which before had been steadily increasing in size to diminish, but along with its diminution came a swelling of the same nature in her right breast.

The breast then took an action and began gradually increasing, until it was large and pendulous and heavy, and threatened to burst; so much so that her medical adviser told her that operation was peremptorily called for, and the her only chance of living depended upon her being operated upon within a week.

It was at this juncture she sought my advice, making use of these words: ” I am now 73 years of age, and naturally have not very much longer to live, but while life lasts I do not wish to be mutilated.”

My advice was to place herself under what I believed to be a natural treatment of disease, and that though I could not promise that a large mass of cancer could at her time of life ever be eliminated from the system, I yet could assure her the probabilities were she might live two or three years longer, and perhaps even die of something quite different from cancer. I took care at the same time to warm her that there might often come reasons for misgivings, but that if she made up her mind to try my treatment, I would expect her, come what would to remain under it to there end.

It is unnecessary to go into details of this lady’s case, suffice it to say that shortly after coming under the arborivital remedies the size of the cervical swelling rapidly went down, and that of the breast as rapidly increased.

The warning, therefore, I had given not to be frightened, applied to both doctor and patient thus early in the treatment, but for myself I felt confident that this effect on the cervical swelling must be beneficial, and that if the breast did increase, it could not be from an action other than a favourable one, and that in all probability the breast, though in threatened, would not burst. The subsequent progress entirely confirmed my suspicions, and it is with the greatest possible gratification that I am now enabled to state that this lady has reached her 79th year, in the enjoyment of health and happiness, as far as her sensations go; that the breast cancer, though it certainly has from time to time threatened to burst, has not done so, and is at present diminishing in size; that the swelling of the neck is hardly perceptible, and that the lady has never had a day’s illness in bed since she first adopted this treatment, four years ago. As she herself truly remarks, were she now to die of cancer, it would be with a sense of thankfulness that she had not been operated on.

I have it from friends of hers that her former medical attendant continually inquires about her, and expresses himself astonished at her being still alive.

Extracts from this patient’s recent letters may be interesting:

On February 27, 1899, she writes : ” I am feeling much better since I took your last powder.

” The swelling has remained perfectly quiet and stationary so far as I (the patient) can judge. My appetite is fairly good, I sleep well, and am as strong as I could expect to be at my advanced age.”

And on May 8 she writes:

” My report to-day, being a very good one, shall be very brief. In every respect I am feeling better, and the swelling has not caused me any uneasiness since I last wrote.”

This, then, is the present condition of a patient, who, in December next, will be 79 years of age, and who, at the age of 73, was to have been operated on for a scirrhous breast, and whose case had been advised upon by Paget and other well known authorities, without the slightest hope having ever been held out to her, of being able to avoid on operation.

The arborivital doses have not caused a removal of the disease, but they have kept in abeyance, have almost entirely removed the pain, and have enabled the patient to reach an advanced age with hardly a moment’s apprehension of any kind.

Thus ran the report of this very interesting case in the first edition of this book; the sequel will naturally be expected.

In April and May of 1899, she contracted a severe cold with bronchitis, but happily pulled round wonderfully. Though weakened she gradually regained her strength, and towards the close of November she reported to me a very noteworthy incident. About this time she felt “a working” and a pulling in the situation of what had been the cervical swelling; it seemed to her as if the roots of the swelling were being dragged out and were taking their departure. This evidently was the case, for there is no longer a trace of cervical swelling.

But close upon the disappearance of this scirrhous mass came a simultaneous swelling of the right breast. It rapidly8 increased in size, it moved round the side of the chest to under the arm, it became terribly heavy, turned black on the surface, and threw out great dusky prominences on its pendulous surface.

These blackish swellings soon began discharging a clear but most offensive fluid, from openings from the size of a sixpence to a half-crown. This discharge, apparently the cancer-juice itself, has gone on pouring away copiously from the end of November till now; and as I write the following letter reaches me from a lady friend in daily attendance.

” May 14, 1900.

” DEAR SIR, I am again writing to report Mrs. H.’s condition, which does not seem to alter much from week to week. Her breast is still about the same, fresh places rising and discharging, principally a watery fluid; the discharge is still very copious and unpleasant.

” The breast looks much smaller and not quite so appalling to the sight.

” Her general health is good, she sleeps and eats well, though she is now again troubled with constipation.”

There is therefore, every appearance, every likelihood, I has almost said, of this enormous mass of cancer disappearing altogether.

Neither the patient nor I myself expected at one time that she would survive this great draining away; but from the above report, and with other facts of the case before me, I almost expect her to reach her 80th birthday, and should she do so, it will be but with slight remains of her old enemy. Well may one say of her, that she who will endure to the end, the same shall be saved! Life is, I need not say, very uncertain as the ripe old age of 80 approaches, even with the most healthy, but that there can be even a possibility of this old lady reaching another birthday is a source of wonder to all her friends, and a cause of very natural pride to her medical attendant.

The case is absolutely unique, as far as I know, in the history of medicine, and stands in every way unparalleled.

I claim upon the evidence of this case and that of the woman in whom cancer had returned after evisceration of the kidney, as well as the evidence of many other cases, that scirrhous cancer can be acted upon very easily indeed by remedies, and that the effect of the plant remedy, if given in single dose and accurately selected, is to cause an outflow of cancer juice from the malignant mass.

The difficulty in the accomplishment of this rests not so much in the nature of the disease, not so much even in the selection of the indicated remedy, as in the prejudices of the patient as well as of the doctor himself.

Until Hahnemann insisted, as I reiterate that he did, upon a dose of medicine being allowed to expend itself in the system until it had exhausted it energies, no one ever advocated the administration of remedies in single doses, and so far have some of his followers diverged from his teaching, that at the present time we find our principal Journal vying with the Lancet in its denunciation of any such practice. When we add to the prejudices of the patient those of the doctor, it is perfectly evident that it is human nature, more than disease, that stands in the way of progress. Vested interests are, to use a provincialism, “teetotally” opposed to this simple treatment of disease. It is far easier to get the right kind of disease to be treated, and the right remedy for this disease, than it is to obtain a willing and submissive patient.

I have under me a case, in Kilburn, of a poor woman, who, when aged 62, came to me in August, 1896, with a large scirrhus of the right breast, that had come on apparently from a blow four or five years before, and who had been, two months before my seeing her, to the Samaritan Hospital, where removal of the breast was urged upon her. The woman determined not to allow the operation, and for these two months went on getting weaker and thinner every day, and suffering great pain, principally a shooting, stabbing pain from the upper surface of the swelling, where it was attached to the skin, with pain shooting up to the side of the neck and throat.

Under the influences of unit doses of various remedies, given at long intervals, improvement has gone on in every way. She has continued doing her work and earning her livelihood in happiness and comfort, and though the breast becomes at times hard and swollen with large vessels coursing over it, it has never burst, and is now smaller in size than when I first took up the treatment of it, nearly four years ago.

As to the remedies used, the point of interest in the case centres more, a great deal more, in the method of administration than in the selection of particular remedies, and in the superiority of the treatment overt that of operation. But of course during this period of now nearly four years, a great many different remedies were given as the symptoms called for, many of them well known ones, such as Atropa Bellad, Ranunculus Bulbosus, Ruta Graveolens, Colchicum autumnale, Laurocerasus, Nerium Oleander and others.

This poor woman (May, 1900) is still alive, and living a happy and useful life, being actively engaged every day in pursuance of her domestic and other duties. The breast certainly has from time to time threatened to get large, and at times has looked very angry, but on every occasion the arborivital dose has taken away the unfavourable symptoms. On one occasion, particularly, she came with, for her, most unusual depression of spirits, and with the hard and heavy breast rapidly swelling, with shooting pains in it. Three days after taking a dose of Conium Maculatum O A, the breast began going down, the pain had lessened, and when seen about a fortnight afterwards the breast had lessened in size by one-third.

Previously to this I had often admired the power of Conium over inflamed nodules in the breast, but this was the first time I had seen it reduce the size of a decided cancerous mass.

Anyway, in large scirrhus swellings the action of Conium mac. stops short at decided lessening in size, and it will not, on the same case, exert a second time an equally gratifying effect.

In these cases of cancer in the breast, the doses can be repeated at shorter intervals than when the disease settles upon the abdominal viscera; in both of these breast cases I have been in the habit of prescribing every fortnight, and I defy any patient suffering from a large carcinomatous mass attached to any abdominal organ, to live through the exhibition of the indicated plant-remedy given at intervals as short as that of a fortnight.

The breast cases require an entirely different system of handling from the abdominal cases; the one requires a prolonged treatment by remedies given in comparatively short intervals, the other, generally speaking, responds to the remedy at once. Exceptions must of course occur in a disease like cancer, the nature of which may so greatly vary, and where necessarily unlooked-for complications may exist. The fact therefore is that the life history of a cancer of the breast subsequently to the imbibition of the indicated dose is quite different from that of a cancer of the internal viscera. I must in this connection refer to the action of a remedy for warty growths that I myself introduced, the Ferrum Picricum. The position will be best understood by a perusal of my article from the Homoeopathic Recorder, published in the United States, for November, 1898, and which ran thus:


In our Homoeopathic Recorder for August you give an article by A. W. Holcombe, from the Medical Advance which begins thus:” Some years ago I saw in one of our journals (name forgotten now) an article in which Ferrum Picricum was recommended for warts.”

As, however, I have the honour to have been the first to point out this very valuable and interesting feature of the action of Ferrum Picricum, and as I have written several more or less lengthy paragraphs on the subject during the last fourteen years, I hope you will allow me to add a word or two.

In 1884 I read a paper before the Homoeopathic Congress on the Flitwick Natural Mineral Water and some of the newer artificial preparations of iron, in which reference is made to the Ferrum Picricum; in a paper read at the 1881 Congress I refer to the action of picric acid, and in a paper read at the Congress of 1896 I specially refer to the action on warts of Ferrum Picricum.

In the Homoeopathic World, June 1, 1887, and in the January number, 1888, I also referred to its applicability to epithelial growths, and besides, if memory serves aright, when permitted to write for the Monthly Homoeopathic Review an honour of which I am now deprived I made more than one reference to the same subject.

So that I really begin to look upon Ferrum Picricum and its action upon warts as a child of my own. And not an illegitimate one either, seeing that it was revealed to me by the holy ceremony of a proving, the pathogenesis consisting of the feeling as though a wart were going upon the thumb of a patient.

When there are many warts on the hands it seems never to fail, but on one occasion I thought it bad.

During the spring of 1897 I treated our housemaid, a girl of some 25 summers, for a crowd of warts on both hands; Ferrum picr. 3rd dec. was given in repeated doses, then Calcarea Carb. 200 and 30, then Thuja Occid. locally and internally, but to no purpose. I then, after about three months’ treatment, gave Ferrum Picr. 2x, instead of the 3rd, but still no change. The girl then went away for her holiday, and on her return she showed me triumphantly her hands the warts has all gone! ” Yes,” said I, ” and the corns on your feet, if you had any, are gone, and you are feeling stronger,” to both of which she gleefully replied in the affirmative. The fact was that for some unaccountable reason the influence of the Ferrum Picricum did not tell until she left it off, which she had done during the holiday, having neglected to take the bottle with her. I mention this, as with less confidence in this remedy one might be inclined not to give it a full trial. But it is in lupoid warts, pure and simple, that I anticipate a great future for it.

In my “Serious Diseases Saved from Operation” London: John Bale & Sons. 1897, is a grand case of lupoid growth taking the form of a large wart on the face that turned black and finally disappeared altogether under Ferrum Picricum.

This case is worth reproducing here, seeing that the lady has remained perfectly well since and without the least scar on her cheek.


Mrs., aged 64, has had for four years a lobulated growth on the left cheek, below the eye, of the circumference of a shilling, and which began as a seedy wart; this wart still remains projecting from the lower part of the growth. She has been strongly advised to have it cut out.

On December 28, 1896, I was first consulted, and then gave Ferrum Picricum, 3rd dec., which was well indicated (vide author’s paper at Congress of Homoeopathic Practitioners, 1896), and in the middle of January she reported a great improvement in every respect. The growth, which used to cause much pain, especially on bending her head forward, was then painless and about half its original size, and her general health had greatly improved.

The medicine, she said, began to work at once, and brought on pain in the muscles of the back of the neck which spread all over the head, being especially severe on the left side and in the region of the growth; this continued for three or four days and then left. The growth is now (February 6) a fourth its original size, black-looking and shrivelled, and evidently drooping off. Reports, February 25 I am quite well now.”


A lupoid wart, almost the same in size, situation, and appearance as the last, and in a patient of the same age, sex and temperament dark haired and bilious came to me in December, 1899. Here the wart has existed all her life, but has increased during the last year. The Ferrum Picr. 3x acted at first in much the same way, causing pain in the cerebellum of the same side, and a chipping off of particles of the wart; then it seemed to cease acting and the patient went to italy, and returned with the disfigurement unchanged in size. When I saw it in May, 1900, I had great difficulty in convincing the patient that it looked less vitalised. This, however, was evidently the case, for on resuming the Ferrum Picr. 3x, and using a lotion of Acid. Picr. 3x Gtt. x 3ij. locally, it dwindled away to a third of its original size.

In a case where a working man had a large wart on his middle finger, that had become firmly attached to the periosteum of the second phalanx, and where all kinds of local applications had been used; I directed Ferrum Picricum 3x to be given, 7 drops diluted, to go over a fortnight, and at the same time cautioned him that in all probability the wart would not go away till two or three weeks after he had finished the medicine. It ultimately went away, not a trace of it was to be seen six weeks after he had taken the medicine.

Robert Thomas Cooper
Dr. Robert Thomas Cooper (1844-1903) was an Irish homeopath. In 1866, he "settled in private practice at Southampton," [Obit, 459], moving to London in 1874. He had two busy London medical practices, one at Notting Hill and the other in Hanover Square. He was a key member of the Cooper Club named after him [Blackie, 1976, p.158]. He published Cancer & Cancer Symptoms 1900; and Lectures on Diseases of the Ears, 2nd Edition 1880. Apart from numerous articles in the Homeopathic World, mostly about materia medica, he also published a series of articles in the Dublin Medical Review.