It is but rarely that tumour formation depends upon a single factor, more usually upon a combination of them, which may be constitutional, aetiological, or pathological, or all of them. And in treating cancer, wee need to consider all of them….

By Dr. E.L. COMPSTON, Manchester.


WHEN I found my paper put under the Cancer Section of the Congress I was not sorry; for, although it was prepared with the idea of dealing with tumours generally, I was glad of the opportunity of stressing cancer on account of its vast importance.

Amongst diseases cancer is supreme as the cause of suffering, despair, and poignant grief. Its very name strikes terror into most people, and no wonder, for is there not writ, in popular thought, over the portal, ” All hope abandon ye who enter here.”

Almost every day one is pathetically asked, “Is there no cure for cancer?” And apart from dread of suffering and death, there is the dread of the surgeon’s knife-a great reality in the lives of many. No wonder cancerphobia prevails.

I work alone. I have not the advantages of collaboration. I am up against problems. I say the above in excuse for the amount of “ego” there is in this paper. I trust I may use it without being regarded as an egotist.

The light that, by the help of God, I have received from others, together with that which has been given to me, I pass on to you, humbly hoping it may help to light your path also.

I feel the necessity of saying the above, as I shall have to make statements of experience without trying to prove them-there is no time. I shall make classifications which may not be the best, and which I myself shall probably improve upon. But they help in the solution of my problem-the curing of tumours, malignant and other.

I shall have to omit lists of medicines and state cases without going into much detail, all with the object of keeping to the subject matter of my title.

My attention was first drawn to the treatment of tumours by medicines by the late Dr. Robert Cooper, of London. By his kind co-operation I learned what wonderful things can be done by the right medicines suitably used. One was a case of epithelioma of the throat, where the patient was dying of starvation, being unable to swallow anything on account of a large mass obstructing the gullet. I saw it entirely disappear in the space of about six weeks, following the use of a single dose of a medicine given on the arborivital method. I owe to Dr. Cooper’s great kindness my first practical knowledge of the treatment of tumours, malignant and other, by medicines, given chiefly on the arborivital principle.

Latter I had the privilege, through the great kindness of Dr. Nebel, of Lausanne, of studying the subject of malignant diseases with him. He also was getting very remarkable results from medicines and special preparations of his own.

Still more recently, whilst in America, I learned from Dr. Eli G. Jones verbally, and from his work on Cancer, the excellent results he had obtained, which I have confirmed in my own practice.

Then there are the teachings of Dr. Compton Burnett, Dr. J.H. Clarke, Dr. Burford, and others, of what can be done by medicines in the treatment of tumours.

Combining all I learned from others with my own experience, I have come to look upon the treatment of tumours, even malignant, provided they are taken early enough, as a very hopeful proceeding. In confirmation of this I may say that the last dozen or so cases of breast tumour in females from 46 to 60 years of age, all condemned for operation, have disappeared in from three to twelve months under the use of medicines. Some of the cases had thickening towards the axilla, and even swellings in it, but I consider such cases getting near the border line of possible cure. The following represents the outcome of my experience.

I believe that every cure wrought by medicine is homoeopathic in its nature, on whatever basis medicine, or medicines, may be selected. All through the universe results are only obtained where there are affinities, and the only real affinity in medicine is similarity between disease and the remedies acting upon it. Similarity may include much more being taken into account than that which is obtained by the pure proving of drugs upon healthy persons, and this is markedly the case in tumours. I refer to the relationship between disease and medicines which is shown by such factors as aetiology, constitutional and other influences which are as yet only known by experience. Hence remedies, even when chosen, say upon an eclectic basis, if results are favourable are, I believe, homoeopathic in action.

Bases of Selection of Remedies.

These may be looked at from two standpoints:-

(a) That of the patient.

(b) That of the remedies.


(1) PATHOLOGICAL.- The nature of a tumour is a help, and may be a deciding factor in treatment. As an example, I was called in to see a boy, aged four years, suffering from an increasing paralysis of the left arm and leg. This was followed by strabismus and increasing mental dulness. He became convulsed and completely unconscious. For two or three days he had sixty or seventy convulsions per day, and death became imminent. I had given what seemed the most likely medicines without benefit. I then learned that two years before the boy had fallen from a wall upon his head. The idea struck me that I was dealing with a case of pressure on the brain due to exostosis. I gave Hecla Lava 6, and immediately an improvement commenced. The convulsions became fewer, and in two days ceased. The boy made a complete recovery.

For practical purposes tumours may be classified as follows:-

(a) Those due to inflammation and its products, e.g., mastitis.

(b) Structural nature of tumour, e.g., osteoma, hypertrophy of organs, as spleen, thyroid, &c.

(c) Those due to infiltration, e.g., Hodgkin’s disease, haematoma.

(d) New formations, e.g., carcinoma, sarcoma.

The above classification may give a clue to the remedies required.

(2) AETIOLOGICAL.- A very important basis of selection, that is not always evident and the source of which may have been forgotten. Yet some cases are difficult to cure unless this factor be taken into account.

Examples are:-

(a) Traumatism in its widest sense, recent or remote, e.g., mechanical, chemical, thermal, X-ray, &c.

A young lady came from Yorkshire to see me, suffering from subacute appendicitis. She had been very ill, and doctors in consultation had strongly advised operation. She wished to see me about the matter before consenting. I learned that a few months before, whilst in London, she had fallen down some stone steps, and that a haematoma had formed on the back. This suppurated and was opened up. The appendicitis followed some time after her return home. On examination I found a great mass of tender thickening in the right side of the abdomen, centering at Mc Burney’s point. On examining the spine several vertebrae were found subluxated. These were replaced, and a few doses of sul. 30, which was indicated, were given. In a fortnight the swelling and tenderness had almost entirely disappeared, and the patient has since remained well. This is a case in which I regard the subluxated vertebrae as a factor in the production of the appendicitis.

(b) Suppressions.-These may be due to suppression of the expression of morbid diathesis, or of discharges, or even of suppression of normal function. The case above quoted illustrates the last point, the trophic nerves supplying the appendix region being interfered with. Tumours may result.

(c) Lack of Elimination.- This will be dealt with when treatment is spoken of.

(d) Digestive faults and nutritional faults, with their consequences.

(e) Bad habits.

(f) Lowered Vitality.-This has, naturally, a tendency towards morbidity, and serves to decide whether, in certain cases, tumour formation shall take place or not.

(3) CONSTITUTIONAL DIATHESES.- These might be classed under aetiology, but are important enough to be dealt with separately.

They are, unquestionably, the most important deciding factors, and, probably, act more or less in all cases. It is but rarely that tumour formation depends upon a single factor, more usually upon a combination of them, which may be constitutional, aetiological, or pathological, or all of them.

The successful treatment, therefore, depends upon taking all these into account and distinguishing what is fundamental.

The classification I am about to make would please me better were I to define each member more clearly, but whilst understandable, they are more easily felt than expressed. For the present their chief value is in indicating certain groups of remedies.

It is a method of selection of remedies which I have proved to be of great use, and believe that it has a high value in connection with the future health of a patient. I am certain that patients treated on these lines are much less liable to catastrophe than the average. On thinking over the last ten or more years of my work, I cannot recall surgical emergency arising in any patients under my care, and what seems to me wonderful, with one exception, no cases of cancer. That one exception was a remarkable case.

A married woman about forty years of age, of tubercular and psoric constitution, suffered for a year or so from increasing attacks of severe abdominal pain with vomiting and diarrhoea. In the abdomen was to be felt a mass of hardened tissue, chiefly to the right of the centre line. This I took to be a mass often larged glands with adhesions, as the patient was more or less subject to evening rise of temperature. With one severe attack of pain faecal vomiting occured. This led me to send the case for operation. On opening the abdomen a large hard mass was found. Gastrostomy was performed. The surgeon considered the case very critical and thought, with me, that the mass was a tubercular one. he intended, should she survive, to complete the operation in about a fortnight. However, she did so well that he operated in a week. The mass was found to be a large, highly malignant type of encephaloid cancer involving the duodenum and jejunum. He resected about twelve inches of bowel and made anastomosis of the open ends. He told me the patient would not survive twelve months on account of recurrence. For a few weeks progress was satisfactory, when suddenly she developed symptoms of severe pleurisy and peritonitis, which made her very ill.

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