Womb cancer

“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.