MEDICINE AND SURGERY IN TUMOURS OF THE BREAST
IN my last chapter I have given instances of malignant diseases involving the intestinal tract, in all of which surgical interference had taken place. In the two cases in tract had not been interfered with, remedies were able to effect a cure. In the two instances in which the canal had been divided, although the treatment in each case afforded marked relief, a fatal result nevertheless followed.
I will now relate two cases of cancer of the breast, in both of which the breast had been removed before I saw the patient. In both of then there was recurrence of the disease-on the same side in one case, on the opposite side in the other-and in both the remedies were able to successfully meet the situation.
There is a good deal of parallelism between the two cases. Both patients are near the climacteric period. Both were subjects of neuralgia and indigestion, and one had inveterate constipation. Both had histories of phthisis in the family, with, in one case, a doubtful histories of phthisis in the family, with in one case, a doubtful history of cancer. Both had trouble in the upper extremity of the side operated upon during the treatment, and both had recurrence of old symptoms.
I will now give the cases. In the first of them there was a curious symptom-coldness of the right side of the body. I regarded this as indicating lowered vitality of the operated side. Many remedies have the symptom “coldness of one part of the body,” and among them Thuja, though Thuja’s coldness is most characteristically left-sided. But in this instance Thuja relieved this symptom in a striking way, so that right-sided coldness must be added to Thuja’s symptomatology.
CASE XII.-Cancer of Right Breast, There Operations; Recurrence.
Mrs T–, 41, tall, spare, blue eyes, rather swarthy complexion, consulted me December 21st, 1906. She had one boy, aged 10; the birth had been a difficult one, with breech presentation. Two and a half years before I say her, a lump the size of a pea had appeared in the right breast. It grew, and her local medical man, an allopath, pronounced it to be a simple cyst, and removed it in January 1906. Soon after another lump appeared, and the patient was again assured that it was quite an innocent growth, and the same practitioner performed a second operation in March of the same year. In the middle of July a third growth appeared, red and blue, and looking as if going to burst. This time her medical adviser said nothing would induce him to operate again, and she must see a specialist. He took her to Mr D-, who pronounced it to be a cyst “with cancerous growth”. He advised that she should come into a nursing that she should come into a nursing home and have the entire breast removed. This was done in July 1906. Shortly before she came to me another nodule appeared, and she was again asked to see the same specialist and get him to remove it. This time she thought see would choose her own specialist, and by a friend’s advice she came to me.
She had had enough of operations, and if she could not be cured without, she preferred to take her chance as she was.
I found a branched scar covering the are of the right breast, with one limb of it running into the axilla. the new nodule was near the end of this limb, but below it and not attached to it. The left breast was rather lumpy, the nipple was flat, and there was a gland in the axilla.
The patient used to have indigestion for years before the lump appeared, and when the lump came the indigestion got better. The indigestion consisted of pains about the splenic region, which were relieved by bringing up much wind.
She had had good health all her life. Had had influenza twice several years ago. Her father was living, aged 89. Her mother came of a phthisical family, and died from an illness which was supposed to be cancer of the bowels. Brothers and sisters were healthy.
She had been twice vaccinated, the last time just five years before. It “took,” and she had a very bad arm-the left. Her spirits used to be good before this trouble came. Is subject to neuralgia in vertex and occiput for seven or eight years; it is better from wrapping up the head and worse from any jar. She had had a wart on her tongue which disappeared after being touched with caustic.
Since the first operation she wakes at 5 A.M. with pains in right shoulder and neck. Always cold on the right side of the body. Catamenia regular; very much Leucorrhoea at times. Tongue clean. Appetite very good. Pulse 96. Used to be fond of salt. Not to eat much, and to avoid pork and milk.
B Thuja 30, about once in ten days.
January 14th, 1907-Not so cold on the right side. Has felt very well. Lost the pain in the right shoulder. Nodule about the same; tender to touch.
Rx Scirrh. 100, in the same way.
February 8th-Has had a cold in the head and chest during the last week. Pretty well otherwise. Much headache in forehead and occiput last few days. Nodule about the same; no pain in it., Small gland felt in right axilla.
Rx Silica 100, once a week.
March 8th-Cough has gone. Has had pain in right arm. This appears to be in musculo-spiral nerve. Nodule grows rather smaller. Left breast rather lumpy. Expending pain in bones of shoulder. Tongue rather skinny looking.
April 19th-The pain in the arm gets worse. It got better in the warmer weather. In the cold weather it began to swell.
At the back of the tongue is a little red patch. Head has been better. Nodule smaller and loose. Left breast very lumpy.
Rx Carcinos. 100, once in ten days.
May 21st-Swelling of arm gone down. No pain. Has felt very well. Nodule smaller. Has had another wart on the tongue. It lasted three weeks and then disappeared. She feels as if she had a bit of skin at back of throat. I found the tonsils somewhat congested and whitish.
July 12th-Has been feeling well. Swelling gone from right arm, but right index finger is still swollen and painful.
Nodule same. Rx Nat. cacodyl. gr. 1/4, one tablet three times a day immediately after meals.
August 16th-Feeling very well. Swelling on finger nearly all gone. Growth I think is smaller.
September 30th- No pains., Always feels tired. Perspires easily. Swelling quite gone from finger.
November 15th-Feeling better in herself. Three weeks ago a red spot formed near the original nodule. More sensitive under right arm. I was somewhat disconcerted to find that a second nodule had appeared in position nearer the middle line that the first.
I now ordered Phytolacca 3x, five drops three times; a day; with Scirrhin. 100, once in ten days; at bedtime. I also ordered that an should be rubbed into the axilla night and morning. This is a measure often adopted with advantage by the late Dr Cooper, and frequently confirmed by his son.
There was no further change in the treatment from that date up to the completion of the cure.
December 13th, 1907-Lump smaller, no pain in it. No rheumatism in arm. No chilliness of right side this winter.
January 18th, 1908- Lump seems smaller. Herpes on lips. Tongue rather skinny.
March 2nd-Lump nearly gone. The indigestion pain of the left side has come back.
March 23 rd-Has been very much better. All that remains of the lump is a little pimple with matter in it. When the patient called two months later the lump had absolutely disappeared, and the patient was cured of her diathesis. There is an amazing improvement in her general health and appearance.
CASE XIII.- Cancer of Right Breast; Removal; Recurrence in Left Breast.
The next case I have to relate also exemplifies the action of cancer nosodes and other homoeopathic remedies in the post operation stage of cancer. The patient, who came to me in September 1901 had had her right breast removed on July of the previous year. I will give the details of the case presently, but I may point our beforehand that it exemplifies a number of the cardinal notes of the cancer diathesis. It will also be see now closely these correspond with some of the leading features of Hahnemann’s Psora.
Especially there was the sinking sensation from 10 to 11 A.M.; obstinate constipation; soreness of the commissures of the mouth; nervousness; neuralgias, and rheumatic symptoms.
It will be seen, too, how the antipsorics work in with the cancer nosodes, and are complementary to and compatible with them.
Especially I would call attention to the complementary relation of Nat mur, to the cancer nosodes, and to the nosodes generally.
I will now give the details of the case; and though the treatment was very prolonged, I think my medical readers will prefer to have each step noted, rather than a condensed report.
Mrs B., 49, consulted me on September 11th, 1901. Two years before, her breast had been hurt by a dog jumping at her.
Nearly a year later (May 21 st, 1902 ) I heard a further piece or possible etiology in the case, which had better be mentioned here. A week before that date the patient’s right thumb had become very painful. On inquiring into the history of this I learned that the patient had had a gathered thumb two years before the breast became bad. It began soon after the death of one of her sons, who died of phthisis, aged 18. The thumb was lanced, and much “nasty stuff” came away. But the thumb remained very painful up to the time of the removal of the breast. From that time it was free from pain till the date mentioned. I refer to this as a possible “blood poisoning may have acted as the determining factor in the causation of cancer in this case. This occurred in the autumn of 1898. At Christmas 1899 the patient first noticed anything wrong with the breast. In July 1900 it was removed. For two years before the tumour was discovered, the patient had been out of health; very nervous; went cold and faint, then hot; inclined to be giddy. These symptoms were more marked a few months before the tumour was found.