Having related enough cases of medicinal cures of mammary tumours to show that these tumours can be really got rid of with internal treatment, even when of a recurrent and cancerous nature, and having, moreover, made a few cursory remarks on their etiology, it only remains for me to tell any young or less experienced brother practitioners how to set about curing tumours with medicines.

I have ALREADY said that by tumours I understand all lumps and swellings whatever, the same being more or less growths on or in the human body, inclusive of such are called cancer.

Womans nature is essentially plastic, formative; wherefore woman in the mother of every man of us.

When womans formative power becomes perverted by trauma, vice, or disease, it is apt to localize itself by creating a lump in the breasts or elsewhere. Of course men get tumours also, but that is by reason of their being the sons of women, and possessing some of their formative power thus perverted and locally expressed.

Ten years or more ago Dr. Pope, of Tunbridge Wells, cured a lady of a tumour with remedies chosen according to the homoeopathic law, and a friend of the cured one, having a tumour in her breast, sent for me to know if I could do for her what Dr. Pope had done for her friend. I found a tumour of the breast about the size of an orange, hardish and irritable, and particularly troublesome at the period.

The lady was young, for several years married, childless, and suffering from severe chronic leucorrhoea, which she was keeping in check by means of vaginal injections. The lady was very enthusiastic about the injections; they made her so comfortable and they commended themselves to her judgment as a praiseworthy ablutionary measure.

Now, in the first place, I hold very strongly that mucous surfaces under natural conditions are not intended by nature to be washed, inasmuch as they are self-cleaning, and, in the next place, I maintain that diseases of the mucous membranes are for the most part constitutional, and should not be treated by local applications.

I reason in this way: The mucous membrane is to the inside of the body just what the skin is to its outside, and should be thus regarded physiologically and therapeutically.

Discharges from mucous surfaces are essentially much the same as eruptions on the cutaneous surface, and in the very deed are not infrequently identical.

And then Nature makes use of mucous surfaces from which to discharge peccant matter, of which she wishes to rid the economy. In ladies, the mucous lining of the vagina and of the womb are most convenient for this purpose, and hence the common occurrence of whites, which is its expression.

Given a case of leucorrhoea, other than a temporary one, from a genuine cold or chill (when its value is the same as a catarrh from the nose under like circumstances), and we have to deal with an affection of the organism, which it is dangerous to stop by local applications.

It is barely possible to conceive of a case of chronic whites being local in nature and origin; it is a local expression of a constitutional cause in most cases.

With these views of the nature of whites, I explained to my patient that the tumour in her breast was caused, in my opinion, by the injections she was in the habit of using by way of cleanliness, and for the purpose of getting rid of leucorrhoeal discharge.

But as an eminent ladys doctor had recommended these said injections, maintaining that this leucorrhoea was a merely local affair, the lady would not accept my view of her case. Moreover, the local medical man, of good standing in the profession, considered the lump in the breast also a merely local affair of the breast itself, and so the lady would also not accept my view of the nature of this either.

Eminent medical authorities had declared to her and to her husband that the leucorrhoea and the lump in the breast had nothing to do with one another, the discharge being merely an affair of the vagina or womb, and the tumour being merely an affair of the breast itself. Both husband and wife ridiculed my view of the case, viz. that the tumour was caused by the injections, and therefore I declined the case. Eight years later, a relation of theirs told me that this lady was still in very ill-healthy, and that no one could do her any real good.

Before leaving the question of the reciprocal relations of the vaginal lining and the breasts, I would like to refer to a very recent experience of my own on the subject, as it tells the whole tale, and that eloquently.

A married lady of 30, or thereabouts, and who had formerly been under my care for phlegmasia alba dolens, and hypertrophy of the spleen, came quite recently to consult me in regard to a tumefaction in her right breast. Having seen her about her health only a very few months before, I was really quite taken aback at her statement, and I said, “What have you been doing?” “Oh, I went to the seaside, and I there consulted the homoeopathic doctor, Dr.——-, and he said my womb was retroverted, and he recommended me to wear a support, and after hurting me a good deal, and trying five different sorts, one of which he called Hodges, I was obliged to leave off trying as I could not bear them.

But before he put in the supports he found that I had some ulcers of the womb, for which I had to see him five times for something to be applied to them. My breast began to trouble me shortly after I returned home after undergoing this treatment.” I forbear to characterize either the man or his treatment, but leave the facts to speak for themselves. Of course, the patient was duly recommended to his own special surgical friend in town for the tumour of the breast, and when I interposed and explained matters, the poor lady cried and laughed in turns at being assured that she would soon be quite well of the mammary swelling without any operation.

By the way, we often find our operating chirurgical carpenters tell in a very unctuous manner of the beautifully ready way in which the operated ones recover after the removal of a tumour, and they evidently seem to thing that the quick healing of the wounds augurs well for the future of the case. But, as usual, their mental grip and positive knowledge are equal.

Dr. Moore, in his Manual of the Diseases of India, notes the curious fact that wounds heal remarkably quickly in the leper. This is interesting when coupled with the observation of Dr. Charles Creighton, that “amputations of the cancerous breasts have a peculiar tendency to heal by primary adhesion, as if the formative power in the several tissues were strong enough to dispense with the roundabout process of inflammatory reaction, suppuration, and reparative granulation.”.

Such, therefore, may be the true value of the “healing skin”. In fine, we may bear in mind in regard to the causation of tumours of the breast, what I think Kingsley somewhere thus expresses: “Outraged Nature is never tired of killing till she has taught man the terrible lesson he is slow to learn – that Nature is only conquered by obeying her.

“Nature is as fierce when she is offended as she is bounteous and kind when she is obeyed.”.

Now, just a word or two anent dietetic causes of tumours, and then I have done. In my experience they are – I. Much meat, notably pig meat; 2. Pepper and salt; 3. Milk; and in regard to this last-named, no doubt many will be much amazed at my condemning the use of milk in tumours (particularly in those of the breast), but I do so most emphatically, and that from my own personal experience. Practical men would do well to remember this.


Having related enough cases of medicinal cures of mammary tumours to show that these tumours can be really got rid of with internal treatment, even when of a recurrent and cancerous nature, and having, moreover, made a few cursory remarks on their etiology, it only remains for me to tell any young or less experienced brother practitioners how to set about curing tumours with medicines.

I have arrived at my present positive slowly, gropingly, patiently, and quite independently; and I do not think I could do better here than give very shortly my mode of procedure in principle. Were I asked to put down shortly my mode of setting about curing a case of tumour when it comes before me for medicinal treatment, I would say: First of all, I begin by remembering Hahnemanns method of case-taking, and follow it partially; I say partially, because time is an element of importance nowadays.

2. Then I go over in my mind the various medical doctrines, such as those of psora, syphilis, sycosis, vaccinosis, Grauvoglian constitutions and traumatism, not forgetting all the illnesses and diseases of the patient and any possible bearings of taints and dispositions, hereditary or acquired.

3. I take, then, a purely organopathic survey of the organ or part, and then weigh and balance the various facts which physiology, pharmacology, and pathology tell us about it.

When all this is done, I have usually at least one good reason for giving one good remedy which is then ordered, and which commonly teaches me the next step, either because it helps, or behaves indifferently, or otherwise.

Most commonly I find tumours are pathologically hybrid in their nature, and they will not yield to treatment of a simple nature, e.g. a person of the hepatic diathesis, who suffered much form gastric fever, was then vaccinated, then had much grief and sorrow, and finally had suffered from unrequited affection; and last of all, got a blow on her breast, followed by the formation of tumour, such a person in her very history tells the thoroughly competent therapeutist how to proceed without any symptomatology at all.

James Compton Burnett
James Compton Burnett was born on July 10, 1840 and died April 2, 1901. Dr. Burnett attended medical school in Vienna, Austria in 1865. Alfred Hawkes converted him to homeopathy in 1872 (in Glasgow). In 1876 he took his MD degree.
Burnett was one of the first to speak about vaccination triggering illness. This was discussed in his book, Vaccinosis, published in 1884. He introduced the remedy Bacillinum. He authored twenty books, including the much loved "Fifty Reason for Being a Homeopath." He was the editor of The Homoeopathic World.