Womb cancer

A full case of Womb cancer or uterine cancer presented by R.t.Cooper….

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.

“DEAR SIR, Having heard through Mr. M. of your treatment of his disease, I venture to write concerning my wife, who is suffering from cancer of the womb. Three years ago we thought she was suffering from change of life. She was examined by Dr. B. of this town, and he told her there was nothing the matter, only change of life, but that the left lip of the womb was swollen. It has been going on like this ever since until last november, when she was examined by Dr. J. and Dr. T., and they both pronounced it cancer. They advised her to go to Brompton Road Hospital. She was there fourteen days, and was examined by Dr. B.J. under ether; he told her he could do nothing and sent her home, and told her to liver as quietly as possible….

” I was overjoyed when I heard from Mr. M. about you; I thought there was one more chance for my poor dear wife. I must tell you her appetite is fairly good. Her spirits were always good, but lately she gets very low, and I often come home from work and find that she has been or is crying…..”

And in a postscript to his letter he writes: Dr. J. said he could not operate because the cancer had attached itself to the bladder, and to cut it away would be almost certain death.”

On February 27, 1899, I sent Helleb. Vir. O A, with a request for monthly reports. On March 23 came a report that “the ninth day after the dose, a bright red discharge set in, mixed with very dark, stingy, clotted blood; at the same time I (the patient) had severe pains in my hips and back, and a sort of bearing down; could not stand or walk and was obliged to go to bed; it lasted for a few day, and I was then able to come down again. And so it has worked at five different times during the month, and between each interval I felt a little within myself. But I still at times feel a kind of stinging, but not nearly so sharp as it was before taking the powder; the stinging seems to work more towards my back passage; yesterday I felt a slight pain going towards my left breast. So, sir, (she goes on) you see I have improved; now, do you think you would like to see me?”

On April 10 the patient came up to see me, and expressed herself in the most joyful terms owing to her greatly improved feelings. A good deal of bloody and white discharge had come on during the previous week, and a feeling as if something were working about in the rectum and bowels; “is still restless at night, but the pains are less severe.”

Local examination was certainly not so assuring as the patient’s testimony; the parts were bathed in blood, which seemed to come principally from two granular masses that hung down on either side of the os uteri from a hard and fixed fundus. Further examination than this was undesirable, owing to the free haemorrhage. Three days after seeing her I sent Caltha palustris O A, and since then have had most favourable reports; in that of April 30 the patient writes: ” On fourth day after the powder, pains set in in my hips, especially the left hip; and on fifth day red but not bright red discharge as before, a yellow- red discharge, and not smooth and stringy but gritty, no clots, and it lasted only one day.

” The white discharge continues; I think the bladder has slightly improved, the probing, shooting pain is less; have felt some of it in left breast this last two weeks, very little of its towards rectum.”

The breaking-down remedy in this instance was undoubtedly the Green Hellebore. Helleborus Niger Foetidus, and Viridis, are remarkable for the production of an overpowering depression, accompanied by the fearful sense of sinking at the pit of the chest and all over the body, with laxity and enfeeblement of the muscular system and a sense of bland despair such as we meet with in the cancers, especially in scirrhous cancers. The Helleb. Viridis I find to be more pronounced in its effects on internal cancers than the Helleb. Nig., and both are certainly very often called for in cancer cases.

The Helleb. Nig. shows its full power in certain forms of facial lupus, and in old and obstinate ulcerations of the legs.

This patient has, I am given to understand, undergone a great deal of distress and serious domestic worry since this report was written, but she still, up to the time of writing, is able to keep about, and enjoy a great measure of activity. Treating a case like this at a distance, and under the most unfavourable circumstances possible, is not conductive to recovery. This patient cannot in all probability get well, poor thing, but most certainly her life has been prolonged by treatment, and with few exceptions, she has been able to do without morphia.

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.