Homeopathy Treatment of Cancers and Tumors

Dr. Burnett maintained that in majority of cases of tumour, the finer symptoms available for basing a homoeopathic prescription upon were often lacking. There were two sources from which he obtained his tumour-curing remedies, and of these one was the class of remedies known as organ-remedies….


THERE are few homoeopathic practitioners of any wide experience who have not seen tumours decease in size and disappear altogether under treatment by medicine, but there are still fewer who start out with the determination to treat with medicine every case of tumour which comes under their care. And yet, if tumours are curable by means of medicine, it is by far the most pleasant and scientific way of dealing with them. As homoeopaths have done infinitely more of this kind of work than practitioners of the other school, I think it important for every homoeopathic practitioner to put on record his experience for the help and guidance of others.

For it must be admitted that the cure of tumours by medicine is not always easy. The method of the surgeon which removes the lump is far more expeditious, and appeals with considerable force to the imagination of the majority. I am not going to attempt to draw a line between the province of the surgeon and the province of the physician in the treatment of tumours. That is a line which does not exist; or, rather, it is a line which every physician and every surgeon must draw for himself. My own part in these pages will be to show what has been done from the physician’s side, and, as far as possible, what may be done and how it may be done.

There is no one in late years who has cured more cases of tumour, cancer included, than the late Dr. Compton Burnett; but even he knew when to avail himself of the surgeon’s art, and it was as an ancillary to medicine, not as its master.

Dr. Burnett maintained that in the majority of cases of tumour, the finer symptoms available for basing a homoeopathic prescription upon were often lacking. It was necessary, therefore. There were two sources from which he obtained his tumour-curing remedies, and of these one was the class of remedies known as organ-remedies. In these remedies the similarity lies chiefly in the locality and direction or action. The other source of curative remedies he found in the nosodes,. and especially the nosodes of cancer. Burnett may be said to be almost the creator of the remedies that were especially prepared from his specimens that I have chiefly used in my work during later years.

But in addition to these remedies, a third source has been opened by the late Dr. Robert Cooper, in the remedies he named “Arborivital.” These are remedies, many of them old members of the Materia Medica, prepared from fresh specimens by himself, and administered in unit doses of the tincture. Dr. Cooper’s son, Dr Le Hunte Cooper, has continued his father’s work with conspicuous success.

Symptom-correspondence does sometimes suffice to reveal the remedies, so that we have four means at our disposal to find a remedy for any case:-

(1) Exact symptom-correspondence.

(2) Organ-Homoeopathy.

(3) Diathetic homoeopathy, including (a) nosodes, especially nosodes of cancer; (b) constitutional homoeopathic remedies; (c) specific taint remedies, like Thuja, in cases of vaccinosis.

(4) The “Arborivital” method of Cooper.

With this very wide range of selection, the homoeopathic physician is in a vastly better position for coping with cases of the kind than n is his allopathic brother. There is no excuse for him to yield the surgeon precedence in the matter, though he may be glad to avail himself of the surgeon’s help when occasion demands.

It is not within my present purpose to make any attempt to exactly differentiate between tumours of different kinds, not even between malignant and non-malignant. Nature herself has not drawn any hard-and-fast line, and for that matter neither have remedies. I shall be able to give instances of tumours, undoubtedly innocent, cured by cancer nosodes; and, on the other hand, I can give cases of undoubtedly malignant growths cured by vegetable remedies.

There was a very thoughtful paper by Mr. W. H. Clayton Greene, F.R.C.S., published in the Medical Press of May 23rd, 1906, and communicated originally to the Harveian Society, called “Simple Tumours, and their relation to Malignant Disease.” From this paper I will take the liberty of making a few quotations.

“We have been accustomed,” says Me Greene,”for a long time to divide our new growths into two classes-simple and malignant by means of a hypothetical border line, but we have not as yet been able satisfactorily to ascertain those factors which lead to the transgression of this imperceptible barrier and which institute a malignant change.

“During the last few years the limelight of experimental research has been turned upon the various forms of malignant disease, and although we have undoubtedly learned many important details with regard to their structure and method of growth, we are still in the dark as to their causation.

“While this prominent position has been occupied by tumours which are undoubtedly malignant, those growths which are still classified as simple have been left in obscurity, and we ourselves, content with text-book dicta, have come to regard them of slight importance, unlikely in most cases to influence the life of their unfortunate possessor in an adverse manner.

“It is somewhat surprising that so little attention has been directed to this subject, and how little the relationship between these simple and malignant forms of growth has been appreciated.

“A few lines are found at the end of a text-book account to suggest that a malignant degeneration may occur, but no emphasis is laid on the fact that in a surprisingly large number of cases, where undoubted malignant disease is present, it has been preceded by some local tumour formation.

“How often in cases of cancer of the breast do we obtain the history, `Oh, I had small swelling for a number of years, but I didn’t think much of it!’

“From a brief survey-ant at present I cannot boast an experience worthy of any other adjective-I would venture to formulate three axioms with respect to simple tumours.

“(1) That every simple tumour is an expression of tissue instability.

“(2) That any so-called simple tumour is potentially malignant.

“(3) That irritation is an important factor, not only in producing many forms of simple neoplasm, but in exciting them to transgress that arbitrary line of definition which separates them from malignant growths.” Again “Turning to the pathology of simple tumours, we find that they illustrate a departure from the natural conditions of a part by the over-activity of certain cells which enter into their composition.

“The standard definition of simple tumours is that they grow slowly, possess a capsule, do not recur if completely removed, and do not infiltrate. Such a definition is insufficient, inaccurate, and misleading. The rate of growth varies, and may equal that of a malignant neoplasm; the capsule is a fortuitous occurrence, depending upon the position of the tumour. Some do not possess it; while, on the other hand, a sarcoma or even a carcinoma in their early stages may possess a capsule defined enough to satisfy the most exacting critic. They do not recur if they are completely removed; not, we may add, do malignant tumours; but in the latter case the obstacles to complete extirpation are more insuperable. Again, the fact that certain of these so called innocent growths are dangerous to life from their position-papillomata of the bladder, or of the larynx- that many of them rend to ulceration, sloughing and decomposition, apart from other considerations, strongly suggests that we should reconstruct our views and definitions with regard to this group.”

Further “Simple tumours are potentially malignant, in that they, as expressions of instability, show weak spot in the body which may readily be attacked by cancerous change-many of them, from the earliest periods of their conception, tending to that end.

“Just as an infection will select that part of the body where resistance is lowered by antecedent injury or disease, or where from some developmental or anatomical reason that part is more exposed or susceptible, so cancer will select for its beginnings those regions of the body where a weakness of the tissues has been expressed by the appearance of the simple tumour, or by the ill-ordered reproduction following chronic inflammatory change. We cannot feel proud of the results of surgery as applied, to malignant disease. If these results are to be improved, attention must be paid to those conditions which precede the actual cancer. It may be taken for granted that extirpation of cancerous tumours is not the ideal treatment.”

If it is impossible, as Mr. Greene clearly shows, to draw a line between malignant and non-malignant growths, it is equally impossible to draw a line between malignant and non-malignant remedies. It is therefore essential that our indications should be sought and found in some data that are more certain than academic definitions.

Mr. Clayton Greene’s article incidentally shows the futility of seeking for “cancer remedies” i.e., remedies which shall cure all cases of cancer and not touch cases that are not cancerous. If it is impossible to define cancer satisfactorily, or to differentiate cancerous from non-cancerous growths, it is absurd to expect to find “specific” remedies for the indefinable.

John Henry Clarke
John Henry Clarke MD (1853 – November 24, 1931 was a prominent English classical homeopath. Dr. Clarke was a busy practitioner. As a physician he not only had his own clinic in Piccadilly, London, but he also was a consultant at the London Homeopathic Hospital and researched into new remedies — nosodes. For many years, he was the editor of The Homeopathic World. He wrote many books, his best known were Dictionary of Practical Materia Medica and Repertory of Materia Medica