The great art in curing tumours by medicines may be thus summarized–keep on pegging away! Only, of course, we must peg away with the right remedies. Any medical person who reads this book attentively will have a good idea of how to set to work. In the earlier stages operation is damnable and dangerous.

BY tumours I understand all lumps and swellings whatsoever, the same being more or less growth on or in the breast, and also such as are usually called cancer. This work is not intended to deal with the causes of tumours beyond the merest outlines, as this subject I reserve to be dealt with by itself. I have great faith in “one thing at a time”.

Nor shall I dwell at very great length on my reasons for giving this or that remedy, because otherwise I should have to omit many of the details of the course of the cures related, and because most of the indications are homoeopathic, and can be deduced from the proper pharmacological sources by any competent practitioner who will take the trouble; and these sources are medical literature in general-the literature of the homoeopaths more particularly and, specifically, the records of drug pathogenesy by Hahnemann and by his followers, going back nearly to the beginning of this century. Some of the indications are, of course, empiric or hypothetic.

Neither shall I make any attempt to give the pathology of any given case further than shall be necessary to make its name justifiable and its nature comprehensible; but I distinctly state that cancer is included by me in the term tumour. It will thus be seen that the position I take is essentially clinical.

It may be asked, What do I give if I limit my indications to a few remedies, and say so little of the pathology of the tumours ? I reply, that my object is principally to show. TO PROVE BEYOND ANY POSSIBILITY OF DOUBT, THAT TUMOURS CAN BE CURED BY MEDICINES. And I do not travel all through literature to prove this proposition, but just content myself throughout the first clinical part with setting forth the outcome of my own experience thereon in as few words as I can.

Had I some new prompt and painless mode of excising tumours of the breast to bring forward, I should probably be hailed as a benefactor of the human race, yet without being anything of the kind; but as I advocate the divine art of real healing (and that mostly on heterodox lines), I must be content with my work as its own reward, and, all things considered, not a bad reward either.

Often when I have saved a breast, I have vividly before my mind the pregnant exclamation of the lady (Diary of a Physician) in regard to her ablated breast–“Ah, doctor, but my husband !” A greater reward than to prevent this anguish of soul in some of my sisters, the world cannot offer me.

I declare that the knife is no cure for tumours, and that tumours can be cured by medicines, the requisite knowledge and patience being given. In order to be able to excise a tumour successfully, a man must first learn how to do it; it is the work of a skilled mechanic merely, in which there are many masters.

In order to be able to cure a tumour by medicines, a man must also first learn how to do it, but it is the work of the patient chess player, in which there are but few masters. Still, without being a master, the art of curing tumours by medicines can –thanks to Hahnemann and others–be learned and practised by all in direct proportion to their ability and industry.

The great art in curing tumours by medicines may be thus summarized–keep on pegging away! Only, of course, we must peg away with the right remedies. Any medical person who reads this book attentively will have a good idea of how to set to work.

I do not attempt or pretend to be in any sense apologetic or diffident on the question of the amenability of tumours to drug treatment, for the good and sufficient reason that I have been curing tumours by remedies for the past dozen years, and, therefore, I am discoursing only of what I know and have seen; that I have attained to my present certain position with much difficulty, endless gropings, and, I fear, some bunglings, goes without saying–Ca, va sans dire, in fact.

The “Vicar of Wakefield,” of glorious memory, says: “I was ever of opinion that the honest man who married and brought up a large family, did more service than he who continued single and only talked of population”.

In like manner I am of opinion that the physician who sets about trying to cure tumours by means of medicines does more service to mankind and to medicine than he who only talks of how to cut them out, and of the microscopic and macroscopic characters and peculiarities of such growths after he has cut them out. Accordingly, I had not been in practice very long before I occupied myself with the question of the curability or non- curability by medicines of quite a number of diseases commonly called incurable, and amongst them Tumours.

The very first tumour I had to treat was a small hard one of the eyelid of some years standing. The patient was a young lady from Canada. She had consulted an eminent physician of the homoeopathic school, and he had advised an operation. “Have it cut out”, said he, “medicines cannot cure it.” She was sent to me by a mutual friend to see if I could cure it with medicines, and so avoid the dreaded operation.

The tumour was but a small affair, about as big as a very small marble, but on a girls lower eyelid that is a good deal. I used a number of remedies, but the two that seemed to be really curative were Argentum nitricum 1, in one or two drop doses three times a day, and Hydrastis canadensis applied freely to the tumour with a camels- hair brush.

The little tumour completely disappeared, the patient and her people were enthusiastically grateful, and I made up my mind to look to my own experience in the future, and not think quite so much of the negative opinions of the supposedly great, for a very eminent medical father had said medicines could not cure this little lump, but I found medicines did cure it for all that.

A good many years have passed since then, and I have been treating cases of tumour ever since with medicines, whenever I have had the opportunity; and when the patients have been as patient as their physician, have generally succeeded in curing them.

Of tumours of the eyelids I have succeeded in curing a great many, generally purely constitutionally, but the very hard indolent ones sometimes need to be painted with the medicament, or to have it applied as an unguent, they being, as it were, outside the organism.

Some of the little tumours of the eyelids that one commonly meets with are from a wrong condition of the stomach, the state of the pancreas seems distinctly answerable for a certain number of them, some are apparently a sequel of vaccinia, and odd articles of food are known to cause them in certain people, e.g. roast pork. Often such swellings will rapidly disappear, but not infrequently they become hard, insensitive, and chronic. A few months of proper constitutional treatment will cure them.

The remedies most commonly indicated are Thuja occid., Argentum nitricum, Natrum sulphuricum, pulsatilla nig., Hepar sul., Calc., Hydrastis canadensis. In very obstinate cases one has at times to call in the aid of certain nosodes. One of the last cases of tumours of the eyelids I have had to treat, has only just got well after many months of persistent treatment with medicines, the patient being a young married lady whose husbands friends were very anxious for her to have them excised, but the lady would not listen to their entreaties, having been told by me that such tumours are of a constitutional nature, and must be treated constitutionally by internal medication.

She was jeered at and ridiculed by the wiseacres of her husbands family for “being so silly”, said they (they knew !) “Of course, you must undergo an operation, no medicines can touch that”.

For some months they seemed to be right, for my remedies did but very little good, and my poor patient had to bear a good deal of banter and “did not I tell you medicines were no use ?”.

However, after a month of Chionanthus virginica in small material doses, the tumours waned and went.

Said I, “What do your husbands friends say now ?”.

“Nothing !”.

“Do they believe now that tumours of the eyelids can be cured by medicines ?”.

The lady passed out of my consulting-room laughing.

In defending and fighting for unloved doctrines, I often see these positive refusals to believe SELF-OBSERVED facts, and I marvel at the cowardice of these pretended non-believers. I sometimes fancy that the reason lies in the fact of their not being the originators.

Less than two years ago, a child as brought to me suffering from paralysis and atrophy of a portion of the right lower extremity, that the local doctor said would end with the childs death in about a year or less. The most eminent London opinions, both special and general confirmed this view. When the parents informed the local doctor that the child was to come under my care, he piously expressed the hope that it might avail, adding the rider: “If that homoeopath cures him, I will believe in homoeopathy”.

When, however, the child was well and was running about on two straight, equal limbs, the said doctor looked very wise (what an easy task !) and stern, but would on no account have any conversation on the subject.

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.