TUMOURS OF THE BREAST



Nevertheless, externally-applied remedies are not to be entirely neglected, i.e. where the growth is for any reason, as it were, extraorganismic. Where I use a remedy externally I shall state the fact, which, as will be seen, is rarely the case.

Derivatives I also occasionally use, and also, temporarily tonics. But let me proceed with my facts.

In case I should subsequently omit to state the fact, I would say that pig-meat, milk, much salt and pepper, are, in my judgment, to be avoided in tumours of the breast. New milk is particularly bad for ovarian, uterine, and mammary tumours and inflammations, as also for menstrual troubles.

TRAUMATIC SWELLING OF RIGHT BREAST CURED BY Bellis ALONE

I adduce the following case of a swelling in a young ladys breast, particularly to exemplify in a neat way the curative range of the DAISY in the treatment of tumours.

No experienced practitioner will deny the important part played by bruises, blows, and falls, in genesis of tumours and cancer; and hence our anti-traumatics ought to figure much more largely in our therapeutics of growths from blows. Before giving my case I will quote a very instructive note on this very question that appeared as leader in the first volume of the Homoeopathic Recorder (Philadelphia), No. 4, July, 1886.

In the preceding number of The Recorder there appeared three items concerning malignant growths, which deserve more than passing notice. One is the history of the development of a malignant formation as the result of the frequent mechanical irritation of a simple mole on the face, another recounted the cure of an extensive sarcomatous growth by an intercurrent attack of erysipelas, and the third contained the analysis of a series of cases of carcinoma, in all of which there was antecedent injury by mechanical or chemical means; in the latter selection the write asks in all seriousness: Is cancer, whatever its form, ever primary, i.e. does it ever originate without previous injury?.

A negative reply to this inquiry is the highest importance to those who believe in the curative effects of drugs. It deprives the disease-action of part of the mysterious, fateful quality so constantly associated in our minds with these affections, and which terrorizes to some degree the powers of the medical attendant. For we hold that the great majority of physicians, on discovering the existence of a suspicious growth, are strongly impelled to advise the use of the knife as the only sure treatment, notwithstanding that in cases of undoubted malignancy, the value of surgical interference is greatly lessened by the relatively poor results as measured by the added years give to the patient.

Moreover, if the occurrence of an infectious inflammation of the skin had destroyed malignant disease-process in that tissue, there is a fairly good basis for the view, reasoning by analogy, that a drug-disease, i.e. a disease produced by the action of a medicine, can, if affecting a part involved in the malignant process, cause similarly efficacious results.

In an admirable Report Phila. Med. Times, xvi, 484; on the Progress of PAthology, by J.H. Muser, M.D., Mr. Sutton, F.R.C.s., is given as authority for the following view: “Irritation, local or otherwise, affecting the the general level, may produce a wart. On the other hand, the epithelial growths may dip into the sub-epithelial tissues, and, on account of lack of formative development, either from decline of vigour or general constitutional debility, the new tissue never develops functionally, runs riot, and originates tissues of low vitality- carcinomata.

The conditions favourable to the development of carcinomata-debility, etc. are absent in the young, hence, in the young we have warts; in the old, cancers”.

What, then, is the bearing of these facts upon the treatment of probably malignant tumours? Passing by the cures of warts by internal medicine alone, which almost every homoeopathic practitioner has observed over and over again, we need only call attention to the cures, by the same method, of tumours of the female breast, an organ notoriously disposed to malignant neoplasms; here the action of Conium cannot be denied, and what is true of this remedy may be true of may others.

A thorough study of the symptoms of each individual case with the view of finding the exact similimum, the exhibition of the latter in different attenuations, if necessary, changing the remedy only when a change of symptoms demands it, and extreme watchfulness of involvement of the neighbouring glandular structures, make up, it appears to us, the duty of the physician.

Whether he would be justified in holding out any hope of cure by internal medication after evidences of systemic infection exist, must be decided by his own experience, but, as there are always cases in which operation is inadmissible, or in which it will not be allowed opportunities will not be wanting to continue treatment with the properly chosen remedy.

If statistics of our treatment can be collated and analysed, the results will, we feel sure, give encouragement to physicians and sufferers as well, and demonstrate anew, and in a strikingly brilliant manner, the value of our law of cure.

We earnestly hope, then, that those of us who hold hospital or dispensary appointments, will endeavour to employ the method of internal medication in cases of malignant growths, whenever it is fairly admissible to do so, and that records of cases containing diagnosis checked off as to their accuracy by every method known to medical science, together with the symptoms in full and the treatment used, may soon appear in our journals. Thus will be laid the foundation for a new and lasting monument to homoeopathy.

Without going so far as author of this article, I must certainly say I attribute some of my success in the treatment of cancers and other tumours by medicines to a due recognition of the traumatic fact, not in diagnostics merely, but also in therapeutics.

When we come to speak of the nervous diseases of children we shall see that rickets is a great predisposing cause in many of functional nervous disorders, such as conclusions, tetany, and laryngismus (croup); and you cannot hope to treat the rickets, which is the basis of it. Further, in the case of a child who is the subject of repeated catarrhs, bronchitis, or broncho- pneumonia, or it may be diarrhoea, it may be of the first importance to recognize that these are simply the symptoms of an underlying rickety condition. Dr. ROBERT HUTCHINSON, Lectures on Disease of Children.

THE USUAL VIEWS AND PRACTICE

Two or three days after penning the foregoing account of medicinal cures of tumours of the eyelids, I chanced to go to the office of a city solicitor on a matter of legal business. “Ah, doctor”, said he, “I have been away for a fortnight from business. I have had an operation on my left eye; just look. I have been at home a fortnight with it since. I had to keep it bound up”.

On looking at his eye I saw nothing abnormal, and I said, “Your eyes are all right.” I then found that he did not differentiate between eye and eyelid, and that he had been operated on for a tiny cystic tumour of the eyelid !.

Said he, “Mr. B. did it for me. I am all right now”.

The gentlemen he referred to is considered, and indeed is one of the first ophthalmologists (eye-carpenters) of the day, and the solicitor, I may say, stands well in his own profession; so we may take them both as fair samples of the educated professional classes of to-day. In other words, a layman with a trained mind gets a little lump on his eyelid.

FROM INTERNAL CAUSE,

as I submit. He merely wishes it removed with the knife, as if it had dropped from the sky, and had impinged upon his “eye”. He goes to an eminent oculist-what more natural ? and said oculistic chirurgeon being on the same general educational and physiological level, gains in every way by–cutting out the little cyst !.

Both individuals concerned have not the faintest suspicion that they are other than the creme de la creme of all that is most advanced in knowledge, and in the very van of progress. They will die in the happy delusion, and their work and names will not be remembered.

Did I try to enlighten my solicitorial friend by explaining that inasmuch as the said cyst was autochthonous, it ought to have had its existence cut short autochthonously ?.

Did I explain to him that the cyst was a qualitative outcome of his organismic self, and that this self-same microcosm should have been put right vitally ?.

Did I ? No.

Why ? Because you cannot put a large quantity into a small vessel, whether the vessel be called surgeon, solicitor, or beer- glass.

Of the tumours of the eyelids, the meibomian cyst is very common, and also very amenable to medicinal means. It will once in a way disappear of itself without any medicines, but not very often; usually it must be go rid of either by operation or medicines. The usual way is to reverse the lid, and make a small incision from the inner lid surface which covers the tumour, and then squeeze out the contents. But “the tumour is liable to recur,” says a very experienced operator ! Of course it is !.

In my opinion, the encysted and other tumours of the eyelids are nearly always of constitutional origin, and must be constitutionally cured.

I will not burden my book with any more preliminary cases of tumours of the eyelids for introductory purposes. The bulk of them are not only curable by remedies, but the task is not even a very difficult one, though at times a little tedious.

Miss L.C., aged thirteen years, came under my observation at the end of July, 1879. About eight weeks previously a miserable lad in the street hit her in the right breast with considerable violence; from that time on this breast became swollen and very painful, until at length she was quite unable to lie on her right side. Patients mother was poitrinaire, as was also her brother, and my experience teaches me that the members of poitrinaire families are particularly liable to suffer from blows.

At first no notice was taken of the young ladys complaints, but week after week went by, and she persisted in referring to the pain in her breast. Whether any domestic means had been employed I do not now remember, but eventually I was sent for, as vague notions of tumour and cancer rendered the parents uneasy. On comparing the breasts, the right one was found to be by much the larger, being swollen and very tender.

I thought this a very proper case for testing the anti-traumatic virtue of the old English bruisewort, and hence prescribed thus: Rx. Tc. Bellis perennis 3x, 3ij. S. Three drops to be taken in water four times a day.

The result was a very rapid disappearance of pain and swelling and in a fortnight patient could lie again on the right side. And a few days later an examination showed that the swelling had entirely disappeared.

Nothing whatever was applied to the part, no change was made in diet, mode of life, or place of abode, and as the thing had already existed for eight weeks, the positively curative effects of the Bellis can hardly be denied, which is the one point this case is meant to exemplify and to teach, and that because it is so very difficult to demonstrate positively the effect of any one remedy when the tumefaction has become a genuine neoplasia, or hyperplasia.

I published, not long ago, a book entitled Fifty Reasons for being a Homoeopath, and the foregoing was forty fourth reason.

As I am here illustrating the curative range of Bellis perennis in the treatment of lumps of traumatic origin, I cannot refrain from dragging in a very late experience of mine with it, though it has really no right at all to be here, being not a tumour of the breast at all, but a

TUMOUR OF THE JAW

A gentleman at the prime of life, or a little beyond, some might think, came to me at the end of 1887 with a hard tumour in the right upper jaw of about two years standing. It had come on slowly. His dentist thought it was due to a shut-up tooth in the wall of the jaw. An eminent surgeon had seen patient with the dentist, and was not of the dentists opinion, believing it to be a new formation, for which he prescribed an ointment containing iodine (la vieille histoire!). The ointment was dutifully applied, and did no good.

The right half of face between eye, mouth, and beard was notably swelled, hard, and with glistening, shiny skin over it. Regarded from within the cavity of the mouth, it appeared as if the outer wall of the antrum Highmore were pushed out, constituting a tumid mass.

All things considered, I thought the dentist right and the surgeon wrong, and, on the mechanico-traumatic hypothesis, gave Bellis per. O, give drops in water night and morning, and two months of this brought the jaw back pretty well to the normal, and patient did not think it needed any further special treatment. Nor indeed did it, though to my eye the right upper jaw looked a trifle fuller than the left, but a few months later when I saw him I could not see any difference in the two sides.

These two cases having been cured in a very short space of time, apparently contravenes my previous statement that tumours cannot in my experience ever be cured quickly, I therefore add that this evidently was not a neoplasm, but merely mechanical obstruction with slight incipient circumvascular hypertrophy of tissue. Tumours of a neoplastic nature come by growth, and can only be cured by atrophy, and vitally and not chemically, and so the progress must in that case be slow.

Of course we should theoretically expect a tumour that was of long duration to take more time to cure than a recent swelling, more of a congestive nature with only incipient hypertrophy; and with this theoretical expectation my practical experience entirely coincides.

TUMOUR OF RIGHT BREAST; TUMOURS OF RIGHT

ARM-PIT; SEVERE CUTANEOUS AFFECTION

The case I propose now to narrate has taught me much in respect of the amenability of mammary tumours to drug treatment, indeed more than any other one case in my whole experience, and I may, perhaps, be therefore permitted to dwell upon it a little fully, more particularly in regard to its causation.

The subject of it came under my medical observation in the near 1878, and she was then verging on forty years of age. An examination disclosed several lumps in the right axilla about the size of bantams eggs, clearly adenomata, and also a tumour in the outer aspect of the right breast about the size of a gooses egg, and all hard.

It appeared that the tumours in the arm-pit had been there for two years, and came after a successful vaccination; and simultaneously therewith, the face had broken out all over with an eruption of tuberous inflammatory elevations, with pustular tops, technically termed acne variolae formis, and this eruption had also persisted for two years in this very aggravated form, like chronic small-pox. In the year 1877 there was an epidemic of variola in the neighbourhood, and patient was again vaccinated as her vocation brought her into contact with it, and this time it was followed by the lump in the right breast.

I did not then regard vaccination as a causal factor in the genesis of chronic vaccinosis, the axillary and mammary swellings and the facial eruptions being clearly of common nature and origin. An operation was not thought useful by her rather open-minded friends, and hence my help was sought. I treated the case for a long time with such remedies as Silicea, Psoricum, Sulphur, Hecla lava, Grauvogls Lapis alb., Conium, Iodium, Phytolacca dec., but made no great headway. The lady was, however, very patient, and went on with my treatment, feeding principally on hope; but hope, though not a bad auxiliary, is no remedy for tumours or skin diseases.

I then used various so-called nosodes, sometimes utilized by homoeopathic practitioners with isopathic proclivities, and we made a little progress, but not much. When, however, I had obtained more correct views of the long-lasting effects of the vaccinial poisoning, I prescribed Thuja occid., Sabina, Vaccininum, and Variolinum in varying dilutions (mostly medium and high), and patient slowly got quite well, not only of the adenomata in the axilla, but also of the tumour of the breast and of the skin affection.

When she was up in London for the May meetings in 1888, the lady called upon me, and thus I am able to say that she remains perfectly cured.

Never have I seen a case that so well exemplifies and justifies my principle in regard to the treatment of tumours – keep on pegging away!.

That this lady would have died long since had she been operated on for the tumours I have no doubt at all. Others may doubt this, but that she was cured of her tumours by medicines is open to no doubt whatever. Amongst the frequent causes of tumours I must, therefore, reckon vaccinosis, and on this subject I would refer the reader to my little treatise entitled Vaccinosis and its Cure by Thuja, etc., in which this thesis is to some extent elaborated. Sometimes we have to do with trauma upon vaccinosic tissue, and then the just appreciation of the two genetic factors leads to a cure.

TUMOURS OF LEFT BREAST AND OF RIGHT OVARY

On February 5th, 1883, a married lady, 40 years of age, came to me borne down by the weight of her physical miseries. Her father had had lupus of the nose, and her mother had died of cancer. Eight years previously a very small tumour had been excised from patients left breast, and now there is another in the same breast. In addition to this, the right ovary is the seat of a very tender swelling. The right ovary and the left breast are, curiously, alternate in painfulness, tenderness, and severe troublesomeness.

Patients first baby was born dead, after very protracted labour. She had also suffered from sore throats, leucorrhoea, piles, thick scanty urine, and then profuse and limpid; stricture of the sigmoid flexure at its lower end, much pain in the breast and side, rectum packed full of piles, sore throat, worse in the night, and, by far the most distressing symptom of all, constipation of the most severe and obstinate kind.

Patient made two conditions to my being her physician – the first was that I should allow aperients; “Life is unbearable without them,” said she; and the second was that I should tell her what each given remedy was, “because I take so much interest in these things.” I absolutely declined both conditions, and the patient yielded, but under a desperate running fire of sarcastic obstructiveness, consisting in diffusive and effusive epistles, such as your clever lay guerisseuses homoeopathiques so well know how to keep up against a stiff-necked medical autocrat, little weening that medical obedience is an essential part of the cure of some cases.

However, she did give way slowly, and eventually rewarded by being completely cured. At her visit to me on October 20th, 1886, she was well of tumour, of stricture, of piles, of constipation, of all pains, and of all the other physical miseries formerly complained of. The treatment lasted over three years, and the remedies used were (in the order named).

Aesculus hippocastanum, 3x trim.

Sulphur 30.

Nux vomica 30.

Graphites, 4 trituration.

Psoricum 30.

Thuja accidentals 30.

Lapis alma (Grauvogls), 4 trituration.

Mercurius (strength not noted).

Silicea 6.

Graphites 5.

Silicea 6, besides various well-known and less well known nosodes. The cure was aided a good deal by diet.

And in regard to diet, I think I could hardly do better than quote a very apposite paper by a very gifted lady, the late Mrs. Nichols; it will be found further on. I will produce it, as it is almost unique in its scientific purity, and in dietetics the scientific spirit is almost entirely absent; most doctors, I notice, go by their own stomachs or old wives tales, as witness the rubbish one hears and reads about vegetable diet.

In the year 1883, a London professional man was under my care, and in odd conversations he told me about his mother who had cancer of the stomach. Could I do her any good? I did not know, probably not.

I saw him pretty frequently, and almost every time after I had prescribed for himself, he recurred to the said state of his mother and her terrible sufferings, the dreadful pains in the chest and stomach, keeping her awake at night for many hours together. She had had her left breast removed some time ago for cancer, and now it had come in the right breast and in the stomach.

Could nothing be done?.

I told him that I often succeeded in curing simple tumours with medicines, and also cancerous tumours of small size if taken early, but what when they had once been operated on I mostly failed, the operation apparently generalized the disease and intensified it, so I could not give him much hope. Had she come before any operation had been performed, it would have been very hopeful.

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.