AN ADDRESS DELIVERED AT THE LONDON
On Oct. 9th an open meeting of the Homoeopathic Cancer Commission was held at the London Homoeopathic Hospital. Sir William Willcox, the eminent pathologist and adviser to the Home Office, was in the Chair, and the meeting was graced by the presence of Sir W. Arbuthnot Lane and other distinguished people. Doctors had come from all parts of England and from SCotland to attend the meeting, at which Dr. George Burford delivered the address printed below.
He described in full detail a recent cancer cure of his, which is all the more noteworthy as Dr. Burford is a surgeon. HOmoeopathy has to its credit numerous cancer cures, many of which have been described in my books, Miracles of Healing and How they are Done and New Lives for Old – How to Cure the Incurable (John Murray).
I hope that the wonderful results described by the lecturer will stimulate many readers of this journal to send substantial contributions to the Homoeopathic Cancer Commission or to the Secretary of the Homoeopathic Hospital in Great Ormond Street, plainly marked “Cancer Commission.”
EDITOR, “HEAL THYSELF.”.
WE meet to-day as an outward and visible sign of intellectual protest against the stilted view that regards malignancy as outside the range of legitimate therapeutics. Au contraire, we would predicate that it is in the fine adjustment of remedy to malady that is contained the final deliverance of the human race from the thraldom of malignancy.
Thus, as Mr. Searle Baker, one of the members of this Commission, puts it, “It is not an unreasonable postulate that a factor exists to inhabit the tendency of living cells to reproduce themselves indefinitely. In the case of malignant growth, this inhibitory factor appears to be a substance seated locally outside the blood stream and discharged into the lymph.”.
A peerage and Westminister Abbey-to slightly vary Lord Nelsons memorable phrase-await the genius who brings cancer under a therapeutic control similar to that initiated by Pasteur and Koch for tubercle, and by Lister for surgical sepsis.
Is not the effort daily made to bring about this denoucement? One of the brilliant research workers of the age- Sir John Bland Sutton-once said that enough brains and money had been expended in cancer research to float and equip a whole fleet of Dread- noughts.
But to uplift us from such an atmosphere of unadulterated pessimism, we have the encouragement of Huxley, that a new scientific truth passes through three stages:- The first: “that it is obviously and inherently ridiculous and absurd”;.
The second: “that none of the recognized and trusted authorities regard it as true”;.
And finally: “everybody knew that long ago.”.
In the present-day institutions of light and leading there have laboured enthusiasts who have scorned delights and lived laborious days in the endeavour to find the cause of cancer (microbic, biologic, traumatic); the remedy for cancer (medical, chemical, or surgical); the effective prophylaxis against cancer (dietetic, the nomadic open-air life, the abandonment of existence in great aggregations).
All to what end? The two most fashionable remedial measures of the day are surgery and radium, and such is public opinion that probably every one, or nearly every one, who has died of cancer in this country during the present year has been previously surgically operated on, or has had radium or X-rays instituted as part of the treatment.
But Sir George Newman and the Registrar – General tell us with deadly iteration of the annually increasing cancer mortality: figures that have steadily mounted for the last half century. The deaths from malignant disease in the British Isles amounted last year to no fewer than 60,000. What kind of a remedial screen against cancer is this we possess that will let 60,000 lives in one year escape through its meshes?.
Is this the best that the resources of the twentieth century can do against the most deadly malady of the time-the best that aseptic surgery and radium and rays of sorts, and chemicals from the Arsenic of the ancient Egyptians to the Lead of the modern Lancastrians can do? May not methods such as have brought tubercle and malaria and hospital gangrene into subjection-may not methods of this kind, etherialized and sublimated, rid civilization of its present incubus? Let us see.
On June 21st in the current year, I was consulted concerning a lady who has been for six weeks in one of the larger hospitals of London, a hospital to which a medical school is attached. The clinical history up to that date was that three months preceding she had consulted a local physician concerning a recent and unexpected uterine haemorrhage.
This physician, evidently alarmed at the patients condition, advised an immediate visit to Harley Street, the upshot of which was reception forthwith into the private department of one of the larger London hospitals to which I have alluded. A pelvic operation was carried through, followed by two internal radium packs.
Here the patient remained under active treatment for six weeks: the issue being that the friends were finally informed that the malady had proved to be hopeless-that he resources of medical art and science had been exhausted in the endeavour to cure the patient but to no avail; that the expectation of life for her was about three months, and the friends were desired to remove her home with no unnecessary delay.
In this dilemma, home and hospital alike proving devoid of succour, the relatives came to me and stated their quandary; I absolutely declined to make any promises whatever, pointing out that the institution and the specialist already engaged were of the highest order, and finally consented to take her into this institution as, possibly, the very present help in time of trouble they were seeking.
The patient was transferred the same evening, the friends stating they scarcely expected her to bear the stress of the journey. She was in no condition to bear the detailed physical examination, nor did the status praesens require it; the thing was sufficiently obvious.
The next day the abdomen was found somewhat tumid and uniformly sensitive to touch. There was no liver enlargement nor any detectable thoracic involvement. But P.V. and P.R. the pelvis showed the uterus about the size of a two mouths pregnancy, drawn to the R. and fixed in cervix, and a blood-stained discharge staining the examining finger.
And now commenced the battles between the pelvic cancerous mass- with some peripheral extension into the abdomen on the one hand; and the corporate resistance amplified and concentrated by the fine adjustment of carefully chosen remedies to that end. The specific treatment throughout was of the character known as homoeopathic and coming under two categories: constitutional and symptomatic.
On the first day a single dose of Thuja 1m.
On the second day a single dose of Thuja 10 m.
On the third day a single dose of Thuja 50 m.
On the tenth day a single dose of Radium 10m.
Hydrastis tincture and Arsenicum 30 followed on successive weeks.
So much for the control of the cancerous toxaemia.
The symptomatic stresses were relieved as follows:-
For sleeplessness, she has been accustomed to receive Heroin 1/6 gr. each evening. I yielded to her entreaties the first night, she being newly brought from elsewhere. But this remedy was not repeated: other medicines such Belladonna or Gelsemium or Ignatia were given one or other each night for a week and found perfectly effective.
On the third week a monthly period started and to control its disturbance Pulsatilla was prescribed. The convalescence pursued an equable course day by day after the second week.
This practically summarizes the therapeutics of the convalescent period while in hospital. The convalescent history while in hospital covered some three or four weeks.
When the patient left hospital the pelvic cavity was still of irregular outline, somewhat nodulated, and the uterus fixed to the pelvic wall behind. It was evident that absorption had gone on during residence in hospital, and it was probable that further diminution in tissue bulk would continue.
The patient came into hospital on June 21st of the present year and returned home on July 18th, practically a four weeks residence. This [showing a picture of a lady of abounding health] is her outward and visible semblance on the day she left. The continued supervision of her convalescence has been carried on at the patients residence near Beckenham by Dr. Harold Wynne Thomas, who will report to us later.
But before Dr. Thomas picks up the threads of this historical recovery for us, there are a few points still which will serve to point the moral and adorn the tale. The history of the convalescence abounds with anomalies.
1. Doubtless to most of you the most profound and inexplicable anomaly will be the apparent control and elimination of malignancy by remedies of any sort – homoeopathic or other.
My immediate response is that it is a further instance of what can be done by the fine adjustment of remedy to malady-when the adjustment is fine. Nor is the occasion by any means isolated. A twelve month ago there were given in this room other instances where post hoc was evidently propter hoc as regards curative result and remedial administration in cases of malignant growth.
But the anomalies of this clinical history could not be expected to be confined to the therapeutic side. Nor were they. The Research Department of this Commission has busied itself with bio-chemical tests for cancer, and among others the Bendien flocculation test: which, whatever may be the experience of others, has proved in competent hands as valuable as Benedict for Glucose or Wassermann for Syphilis.
Accordingly, at the commencement of treatment a blood specimen was sent to a leading institution for Bendien examination, and the finding there was to the effect that evidence of malignancy was absent. This appeared to us the latest instance of the old battle of laboratory versus ward. Of the real nature of the case there could be no doubt-the evidence would be tedious to recapitulate.
Therefore a second blood sample was promptly despatched to Dr. Cronin Lowe, whose report was to the effect that the specimen was highly charged with malignant elements. As this was quite early in the course of treatment it coincided with our diagnosis. But it gave no evidence of tendency to recovery or otherwise: this was reserved for a second test several weeks later.
Still on this important point the oracle was dumb. That the patient has been loaded with a malignant growth the clinical condition and the Bendien findings were definite and emphatic. But had the malignancy become less quantitative or qualitative than before? In a word, was the patient regaining her normal health? The clinical findings were clear and consistent on this point. The patient was regaining her average health.
It is always well to have two available ports in a storm: and the alternative port in this case was another body fluid-selected by my friend Mr. Ruddle, a biological chemist of experience. This alternative body fluid was not lymph but urine. Some of the members of the Commission have deliberately chosen to experiment with this as a test fluid in cancer cases, and have found it to respond correctly and definitely in 19 cases out of 20.
Accordingly a specimen-taken under strict conditions-was twice despatched, at the interval of a month; and the finding was exactly that of Bendien. Qualitative -certainly; but quantitative-with the interference that might be drawn from a lessened output-no response.
Therefore I have asked my friend, Dr. Cronin Lowe, with the vast personal experiences of 2,000 cases, to come down and explain, as he did at Norwich, if a positive Bendien varies in intensity as the cancer toxaemia varies; or remains as a permanent blood response -as an immune body in bacteriology at least for any indefinite time.
I may say that while blood and urine tests had nothing to say on the question of recovery, the patient moved through the common round, the daily task, exactly as before. The avoirdupois continues to show a weekly increase; her powers of sleep resemble yours and mine; her cardiac cycle is still a matter of customary use and wont; and she can drive twenty miles up to my house without turning a hair.
Nor can the most careful physical examination reveal anything abnormal beyond the bare remnants of a former definite and extensive pathology. Nor does X-ray examination, that customary present help in time of trouble, vouchsafe anything beyond the verdict- “nothing abnormal”.
2. The time limit of recovery is also somewhat startling. To be dismissed from hospital while under high and distinguished professional care as an incurable malignant case with an expectation of life of at most three months; and at the end of a month to have recovered sufficiently to pursue the convalescence safely at home and at the termination of three months to have practically regained all the lost avoirdupois; for the dysuria, and blood and pus in the catheter specimen to have become things of the past; to have both P.V. and P.R. telling a tale of absorption which is almost complete – all this implies the introduction of a new factor into the daily being and doing; and that new factor I submit is that of therapeutics.
And particularly in that the therapy was not of the experimental kind, or was minus the warrant of similar issues in a number of similar cases.
Here is another case:- Two years ago I was called into the Midlands to see a lady who twelve years previously had had the operation known as subtotal hysterectomy, performed for fibroid. All went well for nine years, when the accession of haemorrhage – the continuous loss of avoirdupois up to two stone – the presence of irregular and fixed nodulation in the pelvis, told their own story. Cervicectomy was performed but to no end: the symptoms and pathology persisted. And again therapeutic was prayed in after surgery and radiology had drawn a blank.
The remedies were not those of this evenings case, but small doses of Cacodylate of Soda together with a homoeopathic preparation of cancer tissue itself in high dilution. In six weeks I chanced to see the lady again-found the erst while derelict in the drawing-room, sitting up and with a smile on her face. “I am getting well,” said she – “I am getting back my lost weight – I have lost my pain and discharge-and can I walk round the grounds on my husbands arm?”.
All this in the short term of six weeks! I saw no more of her for a year and a half, when at my request she came to town to show herself. “I am quite well,” said she-and my distinguished colleague, Dr. Granville Hey, who made an independent examination, concurred.
Such rapid progress does occur occasionally under therapeutic activation and control, though I regret that with our hitherto all too limited experience we find ourselves cribbed, cabined and confined, all too often when we wish to repeat successes. When we can add another half century to our knowledge and practice we may expect that malignant disease will be as tractable as tubercle or diphtheria.
Ladies and gentlemen, I have cited this case this evening as a recent experience and with the reasonable assumption that the mathematical law of averages will provide you and myself-if we do not miss them-with others of similar strain. In so complicated a totality as carcinoma-variable in time limit, in individual bodily resistance, in intimate organic structure, in readiness of therapeutic response, and in precancerous antecedents, items all of which go to make up a cancer case-there are always one or more points of lesser or less resistance which encourage the ardent therapeutist not to say die.
It was this inspiring spirit which encouraged Lister and Koch and Almroth Wright in the last century to never say die.
In this building, not so long ago, the then leading surgeon of the day-facile princeps in surgical art and science – was delivering himself as he came downstairs of obiter dicta on involved medical problems. “And what about cancer, my Lord,” said I. “In fifty years,” said he, suddenly pulling up,” cancer will be a curable malady.” “Yes,” said I, “magnificent; and by surgery?” “No,” said he with an ominous growl, “not by surgery- we shall have then the controls and remediation of cancer in the hollow of our hands, to manipulate as we will”.