Cancer of the womb: its prevalence. Depressed spirits inimical to treatment. Passiveness of mind, not faith, required. Case of uterine cancer given, greatly relieved. Another case where operation had failed. Uterine tumour pressing on rectum where operation was refused, rapid improvement. Laurocerasus, remarks upon. Fibrous tumour of the womb: case given.
OF all the diseases that afflict mankind there is none the ravages of which inflict more suffering and distress than this awful present-day scourge. The Sweating Sickness of the middle ages, followed as it was by plague, small-pox and by cholera all had an immediately terrorising and paralysing effect. But it is doubtful if any one of these very fatal epidemics has in its fell swoop disseminated a tithe of the distress that uterine cancer is insidiously and progressively causing at the present time.
This, however, is not a favourable opportunity for pausing to contemplate the magnitude of this terrible scourge. But it is a very desirable occasion for impressing upon woman-kind the necessity for struggling in every way against indulgence, for it is often nothing but an indulgence, in depression of spirits. We are all products of our Mother Earth, and where, may I ask, on the surface of the globe do we find any living thing animal or vegetable when placed in a position suitable to its requirements, living in a way that does not betoken a happy joyousness? The little flower that lifts its face to heaven, no less than the fierce tigress with its cubs, returns thanks to its Creator in manifestation of an innocent contentment.
Should like enjoyment not be forthcoming amongst human beings, it behoves them to carefully study and endeavour to correct an environment that must be inimical to their best interests. The man or woman who succeeds in doing this must necessarily be happy.
The effect of mental depression is more noticeable in the cancers of the womb than in any other form of this shocking scourge. Naturally, too, the action of remedies upon the disease is much more unsatisfactory when sorrow lurks within, and clogs, as it assuredly will, the channels for nutritive material throughout the system. Let it therefore be understood, if I express a favourable opinion upon the power of remedies upon these diseases, that I am free to confess that the greatest successes are gained where the sufferers struggles successfully against mental depression caused by domestic and other worries. The proverbial idea is that a patient must have faith: in a sense it is quite true, but equally certain is it that the physician ought to prescribe a remedy such as will give this desirable faith to the patient. For in Medicine seen and felt; and it behoves the prescriber to regulate his prescriptions so that as possible of this kind of faith may be secured.
The physician who requires his patients to have faith in him before he furnishes them with evidence upon which to found their faith is, to put it mildly, unreasonable. For myself, I admit readily that I seek to cultivate faith in my patients, and the instrument, and the only instrument I employ, is what appeals rationally and soberly to their senses a vital force working upon a vital force. My reason for introducing these consideration at the present juncture is to give me the opportunity of frankly acknowledging that my advice to all patients suffering from chronic disease is to remain perfectly passive in mind when first coming under treatment.
A treatment that begins by endeavouring to secure a patient’s confidence is a humbugging affair; but a treatment that ends by the establishment of a patient’s faith by relief of his sufferings is one that aims at a natural sequence of events. The best thing a doctor can do to a patient who enters his study in a querulous and suspecting frame of mind, both for his own and his patient’s benefit, is to show them the hall-door, or, as the French would say, donner la clef des champs. A seriousness and determination to get cured is almost is necessary as an equally serious determination on the doctor’s part to effect a cure.
In the complaints of women, but particularly in uterine cancers, the need for complete passiveness of mind in the commencement of treatment must be insisted upon.
Cancer complaints of all varieties and in every situation seem to feed upon depressing emotions. Equally true is it that half our sorrows are self-inflicted, and therefore ought to be carefully guarded against.
In the first edition of this work I brought forward a case of undoubted cancer of the womb; it was one in which the husband introduced the case to me in this letter: 24-2-99.