THE profession is only just beginning to realize the enormous part played by the defective functioning of gastro-intestinal tract, the consequent fouling of the food supply, and the poisoning and deterioration of the tissues by septic material absorbed from the intestine.
Cancer is not recognized as a part of a mechanical sequence, and as never affecting a healthy organ, but is regarded as a primary condition. The cancerous cell will only grow in a suitable soil, and that soil is provided for by the prolonged action of toxins in the tissues.
It is the habit of civilization to regard a single formed motion a day as the normal, so that the individual is habitually constipated for at least twenty-four hours, and the products of the food consumed during that period are accumulated in the large intestine and in the first instance in its termination. Therefore strain is experienced first upon the outer layer of the mesentery, which fixes the iliac colon to the floor of the fossa, and this strain is greatest about the junction of the iliac and pelvic segment of the colon.
Corresponding exactly to this strain is developed upon the outer surface of the mesentery, extending from its base, streaks or bands of peritoneum, fibrous in appearance. These spread gradually along its outer aspect, and as they grow they contract and shorten this portion of the mesentery, so limiting the range of movement of the portion of intestine which it secures. Later this new growth of tissue, which is the crystallization of lines of force, extends to the outer wall of the large bowel and gradually encroaches on its circumference.
Not only does it pin the intestine immovably in the fossa, but by its progressive attachment to the bowel wall it rotates upon its long axis and reduces its lumen very materially, and consequently obstructs the passage of faecal matter through it. The contents of this portion of the intestine are usually firm and often hard, so that it is easy to realize how difficult it may be for the faecal mass to negotiate this obstruction, even when it exists only in a moderate degree. Any interference with the free functioning of this portion of the bowel is a serious obstacle to efficient drainage, and the more marked the obstruction, the greater the delay of material in the entire gastro-intestinal tract proximal to it.
To this particular obstruction I gave the name of the “first and last kink”, the first because it is the earliest to form, and the last because it is the lowest in the gastro- intestinal tract.
I cannot exaggerate its importance, as I believe its capacity for harm is tremendous and far-reaching, and that it is responsible for all the changes which are due directly and indirectly to chronic intestinal stasis. It spells the failure of civilization and is a veritable Pandoras box.
Consequent on the stagnation of material in the large bowel, similar bands develop along the mesentery, securing the convexity of the loaded colon. These are most marked in certain situations, such as the splenic flexure, and again at the end of the ileum, where it is called the ileal kink. The secondary accumulation of material in the small intestine angulates the duodenum, and later ulceration of its first portion, spasm of the pylorus, dilatation of the stomach and its ulceration along the seat of strain, namely, the lesser curvature. This ulceration of the stomach tends readily to become cancerous.
The same tendency to the development of cancer occurs in the large bowel where angulated and obstructed by acquired bands, or by spasmodic action of the sphincter ani or of Mayos circular band of muscle, in direct proportion to the degree of obstruction and to the increase in consistence of the faeces.
The stagnation of the contents of the large bowel also causes an inflammation of the appendix, which is frequently anchored and obstructed by acquired adhesions of the mucous membrane of the colon, producing colitis in its various degrees and forms. The appendix is often so secured as to control the ileal effluent and to increase the stagnation of the material in the small intestine.
Besides these mechanical results of stasis, the sequence of which are quite obvious, we have those which are consequent on the fouling by organisms of the dammed up contents of the small intestine, duodenum, and even the stomach, with the extension of the infection along the hepatic and pancreatic ducts, which produce gall-stones and cancer. The mode of the extension of the infection in these is as apparent as the mechanical changes.
The next series of changes we have to consider are those which come about by the absorption of the infected contents of the gastro- intestinal tract of more toxins, etc., than the liver is able to deal with. These noxious substances getting into the circulation are carried away to every organ and tissues in the body, and produce disastrous results in proportion to the degree of the toxicity of the blood.
The degenerative changes in the thyroid, adrenal, and other ductless glands, the heart and blood vessels, the nervous system, the eyes and ears, the kidneys, liver, pancreas, uterus, ovaries, testes, prostate, breast, fat, skin, hair, lymphatic tissue of the naso-pharynx, and the gums and teeth, these last two being the most frequent and conspicuous of all, I have frequently described in detail, and I have shown how liable certain of these degenerated organs, as the breast, uterus, ovary, and pancreas, are to be infected with cancer.
Among the nervous symptoms may be mentioned intense headache, neuritis, neuralgia, sleeplessness, misery, complete mental and physical prostration, melancholia, epilepsy, disseminated sclerosis, delusions, dementia praecox, etc.
Besides these changes, which are the direct result of the supply of toxic blood to the tissues, we have a number of infections which occur because of the inability of the degenerative tissue to withstand their inroad. These infections are all of such a nature as not to be able to obtain a foothold in a normal healthy subject.
Perhaps the most conspicuous at the present moment is cancer. Cancer never affects a healthy organ. In every case in which I have had an opportunity of verifying it, I have found that the cancer patient was suffering from chronic intestinal stasis, and that the infection by cancer was an indirect consequence of this condition.
Cancers of the skin and tongue which are produced by chronic traumatism alone are not included in this category. If this assumption is correct, it is obvious that, to prevent the development of cancer, it is necessary to obviate these changes, which result in the gastro-intestinal tract from the diet and habits of civilization.
Cancer is the final stage in the sequence of chronic intestinal stasis. It is the last chapter in the story of defective drainage of the large bowel as it is in the rest of the gastro- intestinal tract. Company.