SURGERY AND MEDICINES IN THE TREATMENT OF TUMOURS.
IN the present chapter I am not so much concerned with the question of medicine versus surgery in the treatment of tumours, as of one with medicine plus surgery. There in no person, in the nature of things, way there should be any antagonism between them. From every point of view, it is most desirable that the remedial power of medicine should be acknowledged and utilised. This is becoming recognised in the old school by those who are in any way in advance in thought.
With homoeopathists in is vastly more imperative that medicinal treatment should be utilised from first to last in cases of the kind. I hold it, in the light of out present knowledge, absolutely inexcusable on the part of the homoeopathic surgeon to neglect medicinal treatment from the time he first sees a cases-that is, before operation; and it is if possible, even more inexcusable if the turns a patient adrift after operating, just to await events. I do not deny that an operation may give a favourable impetus to an organism and so ” shock ” it, as it were, into absorbing a tumour; but this cannot be relied on in any way. And as the homoeopathist has in his hands most potent means of eradicating constitutional taints and tendencies, I hold it inexcusable if these are neglected, and a patient is dismissed after operation without being told of the dangers which impend, and the measures which may be adopted to ward them off.
Patients readily understand, when the situation is explained to them, and gladly submit to a prolonged period of treatment. Two years is an average time given by a surgeon as the expectancy of life in a patient when once cancer is declared, and a patient will not think it too much to ask that a period of two years should, be given to a course of constitutional treatment, in order to eradicate the taint.
This length of time any not be needed, and probably will not be needed, if the growth has not been interfered with by surgery. In that case the disappearance of the growth under medicines may be taken as satisfactory evidence that the tendency has been got rid of, and in that event the treatment need not be so prolonged. But in any case time must be allowed, and there are few patients who will not be willing to grant it when matters are explained to them. On the surgeon’s part it should be a sine qua non of accepting the responsibility of the case that these conditions are granted.
The case I am now about to relate is one of intestinal tumour in a young lady, who was operated on by one of the surgeons of Charging Cross Hospital.
CASE VIII.- Intestinal Cancer.
Miss X., 22, came to me April 19th, 1906, with the history that she had been operated on for cancer a short time previously. For twelve months before that she had been out of health, suffering from backache, headache, and “indigestion.”
She was of rather small make; of dark, naturally florid cheeks, but now pale. She complained that she felt very weak, and that her legs would hardly move. The headaches were frontal and occipital;. tongue clean; appetite good; bowels always constipated, has to take pills to get them to act periods scanty; sleep good. The feet were rather cold. Pulse 120.
I found a large vertical scar about two inches to the right side of the umbilicus traversing the site each side of it, about the size of an orange. After the incision had been made, the tumour was found to be of a malignant nature and so involved that it could not be interfered with, and there was nothing to be done except to close the wound.
Since the operation she had been having treatment with X- rays, but the visit to the electrician had proved so exhausting that this was not persisted in.