Now, in case I should be misunderstood, I would like to say quite definitely that I am not advocating the use of this combination in all cases of cancer. In every case an effort should be made to get symptoms on which to base a prescription. If the symptoms are there, then the medicine which they call for must be given. If nothing can be found on which to prescribe, I have found this combination very useful.
Whatever remedy is chosen, I think it should be repeated frequently and given in what is now called the ” plus” method. Reaction is always sluggish, and the effect of a single dose soon passes off.
In conclusion, let me say that, while it is impossible to look on cancer otherwise than as one of the most serious conditions with which we have to deal, I do not approach these cases now with the same feeling of helplessness as at one time I was wont to do.
Dr. CLARKE said all would agree that Dr. Patrick’s paper was something rather outside the usual. He had given, to the speaker at any rate, a clearer conception of the cancer process than he had formed before. The process was one of proliferation without control. Members of the Congress had heard something the previous evening from Sir Frederick Feeble about the control of cell production, but Dr. Patrick’s very clear exposition that control was the feature was something which he (Dr. Clarke), at any rate, had not come across before-especially in the illustration of the fertilized cell in gestation. He was glad to hear that Dr. Patrick had used his old friend, black gunpowder. It was an extremely powerful remedy. Personally, he looked upon it as a unit. It was something more than a combination, and he believed that in the manufacture of the powder there was an element of graphites, which was used for keeping the grains separate. It was no invention of his own. He had merely put it into a shape so that it could find its way into the homoeopathic materia medica; and there it was in the appendix to his Dictionary. In ancient days it had been the remedy by which Jack Tar and Tommy Atkins had cured their gonorrhoeas and their chancres, and they had done much better on that than they had on the things which the doctors had given them.
Dr. COOPER said there was one thing about Dr. Patrick’s paper which had rather astonished him, and that was the remark that Dr. Patrick did not think that the action of single dose lasted long in cases of cancer. Personally be had found that the dose more often than in other cases. He considered that a great deal depended upon the frequency with which single doses were repeated as to the benefit which was obtained from them. If they were repeated too often one sometimes got an over-stimulation, and an unfortunate result might follow. He could not agree with Dr. Patrick in saying that the action did not go on for a very considerable time in some cases. Dr. Patrick had mentioned the question of surgery-the removal of the tumour- and had said that he was in favour of removing it in every case where it was possible to do so. He, personally had made it clear in his own paper that he was of the opinion that one wanted to get control over the constitutional condition first before removing under much more safe conditions.
Dr. Patrick had laid stress, in one case especially, on the necessity for operation in intestinal obstruction. Personally he had found frequently, in cases of intestinal obstruction or malignant growth, that when the indicated remedy was given the obstruction suddenly disappeared in the most astounding way. A case he had had many years ago had been one in which it had been said by the surgeon who had examined the patient that one could not get a straw through, the patient was so blocked up. He himself had been called in, and the question was one of operation. He had been told that something had to be done because the patient’s bowels were absolutely stopped up, and it seemed that he would die from obstruction. He advised, however, an interval of a few days in order to see what the giving of a dose would do. He had been asked if he would take the responsibility and he had accepted the responsibility. and he had accepted the responsibility. He had given the patient a dose of, he thought he remembered it was, ruta, and the patient had immediately had what he called a normal action. The family were so astonished that they could not make out what had happened. Although he had not got the patient well, the surgeon had said that he did not understand how such a thing had happened with a man in the condition that a straw could not be got through. He had replied that it was only acting through Nature’s powers. With regard to the effect of mental influence and irritation, irritation formed a site for the development of abscess. Mental effects, effects of diet and of constitution, were all contributory causes to the lowering of the vitality and the resistance of the system to some infection or some micro- organism, which naturally attacked the system when it was debilitated in those particular ways. Articles of diet, such as tea, white bread, and so on, were all contributory causes, but none of them were definite specific causes of cancer. He though himself it was a micro-organism and that that micro-organism got a chance of attacking some people and not others.