THE THERAPEUTICS OF CANCER By J.H. CLARKE
In opening this section of the activities of the Congress we are entering upon what is, perhaps, the most important of its functions. For the problem of cancer and its cure is the most serious problem confronting every practitioner of medicine at the present day. At the outset there are one or two points which I should like to make clear. Cancer itself, as I see it, is not a simple entity, but is the end-product of a great variety of different causes, of which “blood-poisoning” of many different kinds is one of the most important.
The next point is that cancer, when it appears, is a very bad enemy to run away from or to be scared of. Certainly it is a form of death; but it has been and may be arrested and the process revered. And this is a cure. Cures of undoubted cancer have been wrought by many methods. Numbers of cases have “cured themselves”- that is to say, have got well without anyone being able to say just how the cure took place. Nothing happens without a cause, though we may not be able trace it, but the agent of the cure being unknown, it is the custom to call such cures “spontaneous.”
But of all the methods by which cures of cancer cases have taken place secundum artem, homoeopathy has been by far the most prolific. Homoeopathy provides a method of approach, and a method of dealing with the diseased condition which no other system known to me does provide. And I have not found any other system which gives proportionate results.
The futility of present-day methods of “research” is amply borne out by the Cancer research Report published in the daily press of July 12. After expending 125,000, a veritable ridiculous must has emerged. Here is the “discovery”:-
“When a tumour of one animal, such as a rat, is inoculated into an animal of a different species, such as a rabbit, the serum of this second animal becomes highly poisonous to the rat- tumour cells, so that if a rat has two tumours, one of these can, under special conditions, be cured by injecting the rabbit’s serum into it, and after this the second (the untreated tumour) always disappears.”
The trouble with the “researchers” is that they are looking for a specific which will cure all cases or any case of cancer which may crop up. They might just as well look for a patent boot that will fit any and every foot. Cancer in one person, or one animal, as their own “discovery” shows-is a totally different thing from the disease called by the same name in another person.
This is all I have to say on the general topic. I will now relate briefly two cases which have occured recently in my practice.
Case 1.-In December, 1924, I was called to see a married lady, 52, mother of eight children, all living, the youngest being aged 9. The periods had ceased twelve months before. When I was asked to see her in consultation with her ordinary medical attendant she was in a nursing home recovering from an exploratory operation. She had had for some time a vaginal discharge, for which she was curetted a month before her admission to the home. Nothing specific was found in the curetted matter; only the uterus was enlarged.
The doctor who had had charge of the case from the beginning gave me this account of the findings when the abdomen was opened: There was a tumour the size of a tangerine orange springing from the root of the left ovary. There were nodules of new growth affecting the sacral bone, and a ring of new growth encircled the sigmoid flexure of the intestine without narrowing it. The surgeon, in the face of all this, very wisely decided to do nothing more than stitch up the opening which he had made. The suggestion made was that the patient should undergo a long course of X-ray treatment, with the prospect that later on a colotomy would have to be performed. My view was different, and the patient returned to her home and was put under my care.