ON THE CURABILITY OF CANCER.
While discussions of cancer and the “cancer problem” occupy much space in both the medical and lay press, the homoeopathic wing of the profession seems to take little part in them. For the most part homoeopathic physician are silent — much more so than in the old days, when some of them fought valiantly for their principles as applied in the exclusively medicinal treatment of this dread disease and made their showing of successful results.
There must be good reasons for this ominous silence on a subject of such vital importance. What has come over the “homoeopaths” to cause them to retire from the field in which there is so much general activity? Are they tired of controversy? Is it, perchance, an admission of defeat — a surrender to overwhelming forces of opposition and attack ? Is it a confession that Homoeopathy is inadequate to deal successfully with cancer?.
Is it just a phase of the general apathy, discouragement and decline of interest in applied homoeotherapeutics?.
Or is it fear of the heavy hand of Official Medicine as recently exercised by its national organization in certain cases where individual members have braved its inquisitorial terrors, been excommunicated and suffered all the penalties thereby involved?.
It is only a short time since one of the oldest and most eminent physicians in the United States, recognized for more than a quarter of a century as a leader and as one of the greatest authorities and writes on cancer in the world, was suddenly removed from all his society, official and institutional relations, deprived of his consultation rights, his honors and emoluments and was ostracized –all because he had dared publicly to oppose the surgical treatment of cancer and denounce the propagandist campaign then and still in progress to extend it.
Others under inquisition for having used the Koch cancer antitoxin have averted the extreme penalty only by complete and abject submission obtained by compulsion involving a renunciation of their rights to use, advocate or advise that or any remedy or measure of treatment condemned by the official body. The latest of these just reported, is a surgeon of very high standing in a Southern city.
Is this the reason why homoeopathic physicians, many of whom are members of the American Medical Association, are taking no part in the discussion of cancer, not advocating treatment by homoeopathic medication?.
It is quite true that “Cancer” is incurable. But that is long way from saying that “The Cancer Patient” is incurable. Thee is a vast difference between the two terms and the mental and physical states they represent.
Public and profession alike have so long been blinded and confused by crude, materialistic ideas about disease in general and cancer in particular, that they have lost the power of discrimination between a disease and its end products. The theory of the local nature and existence of cancer has been held so long and so tenaciously that it is exceedingly difficult to get a hearing for the long recognized (in part) but newly demonstrated truth. A partial synthesis or consensus of the more advanced views, old and new, on the nature and causation of cancer may be stated as follows.
(1) That cancer is a constitutional, or molecular and cellular blood disease, of which the ultimate local or tangible manifestation in the form of a mass or tumor is merely a result, a secondary product of the morbid process.
(2) That cancer, or malignancy, broadly speaking (without analyzing it in detail with all that is involved therein), is a disease of metabolism, resulting primarily from deficient oxygenation and an excess or deficiency of certain chemico-vital elements derived from food, giving rise to a toxemia of germ production which changes still further the body chemistry and lowers vital resistance to the toxin and the germ that produces it, and leads, through an inadequate protective effort, to the production of the abnormal cells of which the ultimating tumor is composed.
(3) That the originating germ naturally, therefore, has its general habitat in the digestive system. especially in the large intestine, but also in other anaerobic localities, and that the localization of the disease is influenced by hereditary or acquired predisposition and by traumatism.
When even this much is recognized as fact and accepted as truth, it immediately becomes obvious why local or mechanical treatment of cancer is of no avail and must always fail, since it does not touch the real disease at all. When it is seen that we have to deal primarily with disordered functions, with a morbid vital- dynamical process, capable of being acted upon and changed by homoeopathic medicines when we know how to muse them, the cancer case does not seem quite so hopeless as it does when we think of it only as a malignant growth or tumor.
That the treatment and cure of cancer is definitely within the scope and possibilities of homoeopathy, has long been known and proved.
The real indications should be clear for every intelligent, well-read and technically competent homoeopathician. They are, first, to correct the faulty metabolism by eliminating injurious articles of diet and providing food that will supply the necessary elements of nutrition in adequate amount; and second, to prescribe skilfully the medicines which are demanded under the universal therapeutic principle of Reciprocal Action, guided by symptom-similarity. These being fulfiled, one may be fully assured that curative results will follow, the rapidity and completeness of which will be exactly proportionate to the skill of the prescriber and the degree of susceptibility of the patient.
Cure and curability, like health and disease, are abstract relative terms. There is no such thing as absolute health, absolute disease, absolute cure or absolute curability. All are relative, all are matters of degrees, all are conditional. Failure to recognize this fact is responsible for the greater part of the failures in medicine and surgery, and for all the false, injurious and deceptive methods and measures by which the sick have been and are still being treated. And this applies to homoeopathy as well as to all other methods of treatment.
Such a statement is likely to shock some “homoeopaths”, and that is precisely the reason why it is made. They need to be shocked out of their apathy and complacency with things as they are, including themselves, and led to do some clear thinking.
I am not saying that absolute or complete cure is not a worthy ideal for any physician to hold, but merely that in the nature of things it is only an ideal, not an actuality, which, like all other ideals must remain forever just beyond our reach.
The worst thing that could happen to any of us, if it were possible, would be the full attainment of our ideals. The very essence and value of a true ideal is that it is always ahead of us, something to be striven for. It moves ahead of us as we move toward it, always beckoning us on to renewed efforts, but always eluding our grasp. Without ideals there would be no progress.
In spite of the fact that true ideals (there are false ones) are never attained, one cannot, in reflecting upon the curability of cancer, but feel a thrill of pleasure when some worker, in the genial glow of exuberance over medicinal cures which he has effected, or thinks he has effected, bravely bursts into print, and tries to tell the world all about it. One may criticize his method, doubt the accuracy of his observations, doubt his diagnosis, doubt his interpretation of phenomena, doubt the completeness and permanency of his results, and still admire is courage and enthusiasm and feel happier over the prospect and possibility of cure which he has thus again brought to our attention.
Optimism as thus displayed is (fortunately) infectious as well as the pessimism inherent in the “radical” treatment by surgical and mechanical measures now so much in vogue. The unfortunate thing about it is that there are so few “carriers” of this wholesome and sanative infection. One feels that health might be infectious as some diseases are, if it had half a chance.
So in these days of bacteriological and serological obsession; of increasing publicity and forceful propaganda indented to terrify and drive the people into the hands of “orthodox medicine” and the surgeons, one hails with joy even a small rift in the clouds of pessimism through which we get a glimpse of the bright blue sky beyond.
“But hold,” protests some one, “why characterize all this as pessimistic? Are not the surgical promoters of the “Cancer Campaign optimistic? Do they not hold out hope to the afflicted? Are they not constantly urging, almost compelling, the people to go at once to the surgeon on discovering a mole, a lump, a swollen gland, or what not, and be operated? Are they not continually emphasizing the necessity for “early and radical” treatment of such things? Do they not thereby promise or imply at cure will result?.