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.


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.

So time went on, and still my patient insisted on conversing with me about his mother, of whom he is very fond. He even stopped me at railway stations to tell me of the poor ladys sufferings. Finally, en desespoir de cause, he brought her to me for my opinion. I am now particularly pleased that he did so, as the course of the case taught me for the first time the vastly important lesson, that even after an operation we need not give up hope, –nay, more, that where an operation has been performed, constitutional treatment should be began at once, to get at the root of the matter and prevent any further local expression of the disease, by attacking its cause or causes.

I say or causes, for cancer is not a disease that can produce its like after the manner of, say syphilis or scarlatina, but is essentially a hyperplasia of a degraded type at the end of a chain that has many (causal) links. But to my case:.

October 23rd, 1883. Mrs. — 47 years of age, had her left breast removed for cancer two years ago last May by an eminent surgeon. In February, 1883, she had had erysipelas of the face, and as she lay in bed therewith paresis of right foot, which passed off. She had variola at the age of three; is subject to winter bronchitis with much dyspnoea. On examining the chest, one sees a long but very neat scar where the left breast used to be.

The outer and inner ends of the scar are a little tender, and the tissue at the outer end is rather swollen of late. The patient cannot bear the part to be touched. The right breast is the seat of a hard painful tumour of the size of a hens egg. The pain, however, is worst in the stomach (the ventriculus), which pain is described as “cruel”, like cramp, and worse at night.

Rx Tc. Cundurango Ix, 3iv. Five drops in water three times a day.

November 16th. Only had two attacks of stomach-pain since she was here. Anorexia no better; much flatulence; “flying spasms”.

Rx Repeat.

December 12th. Much better in herself; stomach-pain gone; had had it a year; pain in the toe no better; the mammary tumour is less hard.

Rx Repeat.

February 6th, 1884. Menses at first stopped, and patient gave up the medicine, as she attributed their cessation to the medicine; after leaving if off for a fortnight she got menorrhagia; gets nocturnal dyspnoea; wakes up with a cough; stomach continues better; feet are sore; the appetite is now good.

March 28th. Has been laid up with a cold and bronchitis, but the nocturnal dyspnoea is much better; digestion fair; feet less sore; the pain in the stomach has not returned; the tumour is very much softer.

Rx. Tc. Silicea 30, 3iv. Five drops in water night and morning.

April 28th. The tumour of right breast is decidedly less painful; there is now a hard painful portion of tissue over the site of the left breast, which pains most at midnight; patient feels ill.

Rx Psoricum 30.

May 5th. Feet very tender; both breast and the painful tissue very much better.

Rx Tc. Hydrastis canadensis I, 3iv. Five drops in water three times a day.

June 11th. Menorrhagia every fourteen days; feet very tender; tumour softer.

June 26th. Has prolapsus recti, with constipation; dirty brown leucorrhoea; breast is painless; tumour smaller; no pain in the stomach; feet better, less painful.

Rx Tc. Thuja 30.

July 23rd. Worse; very much pain in the stomach; last night it was most severe; tumour hard and painful.

Rx. Tc Cundurango Ix, 3iv. Ten drops in water twice a day.

August 20th. The tumour is rather smaller, but more painful; severe pain in the stomach. Patient has gone back to the lemons, which I formerly recommended, and which seemed to suit. There are now two painful nodes on the edges of the scar of left breast. Has had menorrhagia twice.

Rx Psor. 30, and Cundurango O.

September 5th. About the same; feet very tender.

Rx Tc. Cundurango O and Silicea 6 trit.

October 15th. Feet no better; stomach well; no pain in the scar; tumour in the breast is smaller and softer.

November 10th. Tumour of the breast much softer; the vaginal discharge has now ceased. Pains are always at night.

26th. Much better altogether.

Rx Repeat.

January 7th, 1885. Gone back very much; breast very painful; the submaxillary glands are swollen and painful; the pain is “Cruel” and causes “vomiting by the hour”; vomits blood; pain keeps her awake at night; she has a taste of phosphorus in the mouth. She tells me now, for the first time, that she is an enormous pepper eater, which I forbid.

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.