HOMEOPATHIC APPROACH TO A CANCER PATIENT
The homoeopathic approach to a case of cancer depends upon the state of sensitivity in which the patient presents himself to the physician.
1. The degree of sensitivity is moderate or high:
Such patients are able to throw up characteristic symptoms and this is usually possible in the initial stages of the disease (though few patients in the later stages may also throw up characteristic symptoms).
The patients who belong to this category are:
a. Those who present in the precancerous phase- This is best time to start homoeopathic treatment and get good results. this phase should be suspected in patients who have
– a strong family history of cancer.
– pre-cancerous clinical condition like leukoplakia, ulcerative colitis, benign polyposis of the colon and others which have been mentioned earlier.
– investigations done routinely which lead to detection of this phase.
These patients need their constitutional remedy which is based on their mental make-up, physical generals, physical particulars and the fundamental and precipitating causes-if available.
The potency used is the medium one to start with, in frequent repetition and then the higher potencies till one gets the desired result.
The use of intercurrent is also important and depends upon the dominant and fundamental miasm.
b. Those who present in the cancerous phase where the primary tumour has been removed with surgery, radiation or chemotherapy; and there do not exist any clinical signs or symptoms either of the cancerous process or of the ill-effects of the above modes of treatment.
– A case of malignancy of the breast where the entire mass is removed, the scar has healed well and there are no metastases detectable and no signs or symptoms.
– A case of lymphoma where a complete remission has been obtained with radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy and there exist no ill-effects.
Management remains the same as mentioned under 1.a.
c. Those who present in the cancerous phase with acute ill-effects of radiotherapy or chemotherapy.
Patient may present with skin burns in the area exposed to radiation; diarrhea, severe pain in rectum and urethra when the radiation has been administered to the lower abdomen, etc.
Patient may present with profound weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, anorexia, etc.
An acute remedy is selected as per the presenting acute totality- considering the modalities, concomitants, sensations and location.
The potency is medium or high one in repeated doses till the acute phase is ameliorated.
The remedies for the ill-effects of radiotherapy are Cadmium iodide, Calcera fluor, Fluoric acid, Phos, Radium brom, Silica, Sulphur, X-ray.
The acute pictures of Arsenic, Nux-vom, Phos will arise during the ill-effects of chemotherapy.
d. Those who present in the cancerous phase with an acute totality arising as a result of the cancerous process and associated with characteristic symptoms.
A case of cancer of stomach with severe vomiting having a characteristic picture of Arsenic, Phos or Bismuth.
A case of hepatoma with high fever where the fever totality indicates Belladonna or Ferrum phos.
An acute remedy is selected as per the acute totality in medium or high potency and given repeatedly till the acute episode is well-controlled.
2. The degree of sensitivity is low:
In these cases, the sensitivity is so poor that the body is unable to throw up a characteristic sign. The symptoms that exist are the common symptoms of the disease. The patients who belong to this category are:
a. Those who present themselves in the advanced stage of the disease with widespread metastses.
b. Those in whom the susceptibility has been grossly undermined by chemotherapy or radiotherapy which has suppressed the characteristic expression of the system.
The remedy is selected on the basis of the location and the pathology. It is administered in the low potencies ranging from the mother tincture to the 30 potency with frequent repetition, in order to achieve palliation. In such cases, the frequent repetition of higher potencies may produce tremendous aggravation.
– Ruta in case of cancer of the colon.
– Ornithogalum in a case of cancer of the stomach.
– Lobelia ernius in a case of cancer of the omentum. It is not possible to give here a detailed account of all the homoeopathic medicines that could be employed in the treatment of cancer. My object is to present the salient features of the commonly indicated remedies in the treatment of cancer.
The medicines can be studied under two headings-
I. The constitutional remedies.
II. The specific cancer remedies.
I. The constitutional remedies:
A study of the drugs is rendered easier by the study of the group symptoms. Hence I have chosen to deal with the group symptoms of the Aurums, Calcareas, Ferrum, Kalis, Natrums, and Magnesiums- each followed by a brief account of the affinities of their various salts.
A. The Aurums:
The pathology of Aurum often arises due to the profound disturbances at the level of the mind, and we find the ill-effects of mortification, vexation and anger. Aurum is a conscientious individual with a strong sense of duty. Therefore he is deeply disturbed if he fails to perform his duty and goes into a state of depression, self-condemnation and self-criticism. This eventually leads to a state where he feels that life is not worth living and begins to think of suicide. It is almost as if he enjoys dwelling on suicidal thoughts, and desires death. The Aurum individual is hypersensitive- to music (which ameliorates); pain and physical impressions, and irritable to the point of violence when contradicted. He is hurried with desire for mental and physical activity which ameliorates. At the physical level, one finds destruction- ulcers, degeneration of joints and heart and blood vessels, necrosis of bones, associated with offensive discharges, with glandular involvement and with dropsy.
Among the Aurum salts, Aurum-met and Aurum-mur have a marked affinity for neoplastic processes.
It has affinity for cancer of nose, maxillary sinus, face, lips, tongue, palate, uterus, skin, bones and land. There is also a tendency to develop exostoses (which may be painful); styes; polyps in the nose; condylomata on tongue, genitals and rectum; warts; cysts in the ovaries; and lumps under the sternum.
It has affinity for cancer of nose, lips, tongue, bones and glands. it also has affinity for exostoses; conylomata; warts; hypertrophy of prostate and fibroid of uterus.
It has marked action on the female reproductive organs-cancer of the breast, cancer and fibroids of uterus, and ovarian cysts with dropsy-all of which may be painful. It also covers cancer of the bones, tongue and eye; styes and condylomatas.
A remedy for fibroids of uterus, ovarian cysts with dropsy and cancer of bones.
A remedy for cancer of breast and bones.
A remedy for styes.
B. The Calcareas
Calcarea has a sensitive but sluggish mid. Since the mind is sensitive, it receives a number of stimuli from the enviournment. Stories of tragedy and sadness affect him; slightest reprimand makes him weep; he is sensitive to hurts and to troubles of others and also to light, odours and noise. However, the sluggishness of the mind makes it difficult for him to organize the stimuli, which makes him confused and indecisive. The mind desires a lot of things but his physical indolence prevents him from achieving them and frustration arises. He is a basically insecure individual who prefers to remain within his protective shell. He has a number of fears and may also be shy in behaviour.
At the physical level, there is marked indolence; haemorrhages; profuse perspiration, relaxation of tissues leading to prolapses, varicosities, hernias and easy sprains; tendency to glandular and bone affections; and tendency to glandular and bone affections; and tendency to deposition of calcium. in females there is hypersensitivity of the mind, breast heaviness and tendency of water retention before the menses.
In the Calcarea group, there is a marked neoplastic tendency-for benign as well as malignant growths.
It has a remarkable affinity for various benign growths like sebaceous cysts (especially on the head), polyps (ear, nose, bladder, rectum and uterus with easy bleeding); moles; condylomata (eyes, gums, genitals); warts; fungoid growths in bladder and urethra; fibroid tumours of the ovaries and uterus with uterine haemorrhage; echondroma; exostoses; ganglion on the back of the wrist; fatty tumors on the neck, and tarsal tumours of the eyes.
It also has an affinity for malignancy of eyes, nose, uterus, breast, bones, and skin, for leukemia-all these associated with lymph node involvement, cachexia and pains.
It is a strongly syphilitic Calcarea, having growths characterized by stony induration. It has an affinity for malignancy of stomach, breast, skin, bones with marked glandular involvement. It is also a remedy for Hodgkin’s disease considering its affinity for glands.
It also has an affinity for benign tumours like stye; enchodroma; exostoses; ganglion on the dorsum of the wrist; tumour in the popliteal fossa and fibroids in the uterus.
Another Calcarea with affinity for glands for begnin and malignant tumours of the breast and prostate, for polyps in the ear and nose, for fibroids in the uterus.
A remedy for cancer of skin(epithelioma); leukemia; malignant tumours on the neck; tumours of the male breast and the bones; polyps in the ear, nose and uterus; fibroid of the uterus.
A remedy for cancer of the uterus and skin (epithelioma); nasal polyps and uterine fibroids.
A remedy for sebaceous cysts and for caries of bone.
A remedy for excruciating, constrictive cancer pains.
A remedy for cancer of the uterus with burning pains.
A remedy for pain in ulcerating cancers.
A remedy for styes.
A remedy for styes.
A remedy for caries of bones.
C. The Ferrums
Hypersensitivity is the hallmark of the Ferrum individual. Emotions dominate, with their excitability, erraticity and changeability. He has a strong will when it comes to matters of intellect; but as far as emotional problems are concerned, he becomes indecisive and confused which lead to sadness, guilt, anxiety and vexation. These are manifested overtly through violent anger with trembling at slightest contradiction, severe anxiety with its associated vasomotor effects and restless especially at night and through dreams. The mental symptoms especially sadness is worse before, during and after menses and is better by mental occupation of moderate intensity.
The physical sphere is characterized by multiple food allergies; vascular phenomena like irregular, patchy sudden congestions in areas which are otherwise pale ( precipitated by slightest emotion; exertion or pain), palpitations and haemorrhages; anemia; debility; oedema; severe pains which benumb the parts; and gastric affections.
The Ferrum group does not have a marked affinity for tumours when compared to the other metal groups.
It has an affinity for malignancy of breast, nasal and other bones, with involvement of lymph nodes. It also has an action on ovarian cysts with dropsy.
It has its action on warts and ganglion.
It is a remedy for malignancy of uterus, skin and bones with glandular involvement; and a remedy for styes.
A remedy for Hodgkin’s lymphoma, leukemia, prostatic hypertrophy and warts.
A remedy for leukemia
A remedy for styes
A remedy for tarsal tumours.
D. The Kalis
Kali will be indicted n individuals of a self-centered nature, where the maximum attachment is the self. Kali is a sentimental and insecure individual and has strong sentimental attachments to fulfill his emotional insecurities. A lot of demands are made on the objects of his attachments if these are not fulfilled, there arises tremendous anxiety, irritability, vexation and hostility-which are often expressed overtly and also through dreams.
At the physical level, there is a marked debility, hypersensitivity manifested through severe pains, tendency to oedema and status, profuse sweats, rheumatic affections especially lumbar pains, violent congestions and gastric disturbances.
Among the various Kali salts, those having the greatest tendency for tumours are Kali-iod, Kali-bi, Kali-carb and Kali-ars.
It has an affinity for tarsal tumours and for malignancy of face, tongue, mammae, skin and bones with involvement of the lymph nodes and cachexia.
It has an affinity for malignancy of nose, stomach, skin and bones with cachexia and its characteristic yellow sticky discharges, spotty pains and punched-out ulcers. It also has an affinity for tarsal tumours and keloids.
It has an affinity for malignancy of face, stomach, uterus, skin and bones with lymph node involvement. It also covers benign tumours of the ovary, painful tumours of the ovary, painful tumours of the skull, warts, polyps and sebaceous cysts.
It has an affinity for malignancy of face, lips, uterus and skin with lymph node involvement.
It has affinity for ovarian cysts and sebaceous cysts.
It has affinity for epithelioma of lips and tongue, with cachexia.
It has affinity for cancer of tongue and rectum.
It is one of the remedies for Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
It is one of the remedies for leukemia.
It has affinity for epithelioma of nose, face and lips.
E. The Magnesiums
It is often a deep trauma to the mind that gives rise to the pathology of magnesium at the physical level. The mind of the magnesium fairly closely resembles the mental profile of the cancer patient derived through psychological testing. The person suffers from a feeling of neglect and loneliness. There is resentment towards those who have wronged him, but it is rarely at the conscious level. These negative feelings are repressed and find that expression through a multitude of dreams. On the surface, the person appears to be submissive; there is no overt aggression.
At the physical level, there is sluggishness; constipation and digestive disturbances; discharges with indelible stains; haemorrhages of dark, clotted blood; burning and severe pains; and intolerance of milk. In females, there is often aggravation before and during the menses- abdominal, leg and back pains; sore throat; coryza; acne.
Among the magnesium salts, mag-mur and mag-phos have a greater affinity for malignancy.
It is characterized by induration and malignancy of liver, uterus (body and cervix), vagina, with lymph node involvement. There are also indurated nodes on the face.
It has affinity for cancer of stomach and uterus, and is good remedy for cancer pains which are spasmodic, intense, aggravated at night and ameliorated by warmth and pressure.
A remedy for nodes on face, mouth, tongue and back, and for cancer of liver.
A remedy for cancer of skin (epithelioma) and warts.
F. The Natrums
The Natrum is dominated by his emotions- which are the derives his strength from the strong emotions on one hand and these emotions prove to be his weakness on the other. He is very sensitive and sentimental and suffers from misplacement of affections. The emotions oscillate, swinging to extremes and are ambivalent. His behaviour is therefore impulsive and erratic.
He is averse to all authority and often retaliates against it . However, mostly the emotions are suppressed, with reserved behaviour and constant brooding over the tragedies of the past. At a later stage, we also find depression and suicidal tendencies.
A the physical level, there is aggravations from the sun, from milk; dryness of skin and mucous membrane with oily face; constipation; tendency to dropsy; emaciation especially in the upper part of the body and inspite of eating well; and weakness.
The Natrums have a greater tendency to form benign growths, especially warts and condylomata (Nat-carb, Nat-mur, Nat-sulph), sebaceous cysts and polyps, that malignant ones.
It has an affinity for malignancy of uterus, bones (skull, ossicles and vertebrae) leukemia and Hodgkin’s lymphoma. It is also a good remedy for styes, tarsal tumours, warts and polyps.
A remedy for cancer of uterus, with glandular involvement, for indurated goitre and sebaceous cysts on scalp.
A remedy for leukaemia, tarsal tumours and condylomata especially in rectum and anal region and on the genitals.
A remedy for leukaemia and indurated glands.
A remedy for cancer of uterus, breast and skin (epithelioma).
A remedy for leukaemia.
A remedy for cancer of bones.
Psychologically the patient is conscientious and orderly, he cannot bear to be corrected or opposed. He is intellectually active, must be occupied, and finds relief in action, movement and active exercise. He is self-conscious and shuns crowds, but is also averse to complete solitude and likes to have someone around (preferably, in the next room). He is apprehensive before an ordeal from lack of self-confidence, but rises to the occasion when it arrives. He is fearful of the dark, of failure and of appearing in public.
Lycopodium tends to have a sallow complexion, often with flushed cheeks and a rather red nose. He is lean, even emaciated about the face, neck and chest. The brow tends to be wrinkled with vertical furrows above the root of the nose. There may be early graying of hair. A peculiar sign is marked coldness of one foot while the other is warm or hot.
The patient is ambithermal to hot.
Appetite may be capricious with easy satiety. He craves sweets and sweet things, hot meals and hot fluids and savouries. There is a tendency to eat too fast. Cabbage, peas, beans, milk, pastry, onions and oysters tend to upset his digestion. Flatulence dyspepsia becomes an important concomitant with most of the Lycopodium complaints.
He may perspire on slightest exertion- a cold, clammy sweat with the odour of onion.
The symptoms usually tend to be right-sided and then extend to the left.
Lyco tends to localize its cancerous affections in the stomach, oesophagus, eyes, lips (especially the lower), uterus, breast, skin, bones and glands. It also has benign growths like styes, staphyloma; polyps in ear, nose and bladder; fungoid growths in urethra; condylomata on tongue, rectum and genitals; warts; hypertrophied prostate; ovarian cysts with dropsy and uterine fibroids and polyps with metrorrhagia.
Psychologically the Silica person is self-willed, touchy and full of apprehension. He lacks confidence in himself. There is lack of go/ drive/grit/initiative. The person is scrupulously conscientious, but lacks in application as thoughts tend to wander. The person is timid. Full of fears, with dread of failure from a feeling of incapacity. Silica is a remedy for the overworked individual, whose nervous resistance is used up. At this stage, he makes mistakes in speech and writing.
The patient is sallow, sickly, shivery, and sweaty with a large head and a prominent belly.
Chilliness predominates the picture.
Appetite is poor. There is craving for cold food and cold milk. Excessive thirst is the rule.
Perspiration is profuse on head and feet; and there is coldness of hands and feet.
The remedy has a scrofulous diathesis, hence its importance for glandular involvement.
I have used this drug with great success in various cases of malignancy with non-healing, post-operative wounds where the discharge is thin, offensive and purulent and the pain is better by warm application. Silica has a predominant neoplastic element and covers a very wide range of neoplasms-both benign and malignant. It has a marked affinity for cancer of eye, nose, face, lips, tongue, stomach (especially the pyloric end), male genitals, uterus, breast, skin (ulcerative), glands, bones (skull, ear, palate, clavicle, vertebrae and bones of the extremities) – with metastatic lymph node involvement and cancer pains. it is also a remedy for tumours of the eye – staphyloma, stye and tarsal tumours; polyps in nose, bladder and uterus; sebaceous cysts especially on hands and scalp; warts; moles; ganglion on wrist; tumour in the hollow of the knee; fibroids of uterus; indurated parotid gland; recurrent fibroid on neck; hypertrophied prostate; exostoses and enchondroma.
There are two sides of Phytolacca-
I. Gloomy and apathetic state:
In this state patient has no motivation, no ambition, which is further characterized by the following set of symptoms –
a. Loathing in the morning on waking.
b. Aversion to business.
c. Indifference and apathy in the morning on waking.
d. Indifference and apathy to business affairs.
e. Indolence in the morning.
f. Loathing, moaning and groaning in the morning.
g. Weary of life in the morning on waking.
N.B. It is so unique that even though Phyto is a marked antisyphilitic remedy, most of its mental symptoms are worse in the morning on waking.
ii The other side is restlessness and fear:
The above state is characterized by following symptoms –
a. Fear of death.
b. Restlessness and nervousness at night.
It is my observation that Phytolacca patient always wants to move from one place to another during an attack of neuralgia. Also the patient is very self-centered, thinks only of his own comfort and money, just like Arsenicum.
The patient is extremely sensitive to pain, even slightest pain is unbearable. Occasionally the patient goes into delirium when they may expose their body. Dr. C. Hering mentions that these patients cannot be persuded to take nourishment and also a very common habit in patients requiring Phytolacca is to press and bite the teeth together.
The period of lactation is a traumatic one. Milk dries up early due to exposure to cold damp weather. The milk is bad, thick, lumpy. Nipples are excoriated, fissured and extremely sensitive so that nursing causes intense pain that radiates all over the body.
The menses are too frequent, too copious and painful. There is characteristic increase of tears, saliva, bile, urine and other secretions and inflammation of breast during menstrual period.
Leucorrhoea is profuse, thick, and tenacious from swollen Bartholin’s gland.
Some clinical observations:
• Affections of the breast, especially right.
• Bluish red discoloration of the affected part.
• Hard and painful nodes.
• Obesity with rheumatic complaints.
o Easy vomiting every few minutes with violent retching (during last stage of hepatic metastasis)
• Chronic hepatitis with continous urging to pass stool.
• Disposition to warts, boils, lipoma.
The following pathology fits into the drug picture –
All the above pathology is characterized by sensitivity to pain; aggravation at menstrual period; hard painful nodosites. Even old scars and cicatrices when they break open one should think of Phytolacca along with drugs like Graphites, Silica and Thiosinaminum.
Dullness, lethargy and slowness are the keywords which symbolize Graphites.
Most of the above states are worse during morning and better as the day passes. Morning is the time when the patient is extremely sluggish while at night patients is more restless and nervous. Intellectually these patients are not too bright either academically or professionally. They lack that confidence and zest to come up in life. You may call them happy-go-lucky type. In short, they are slow to receive any information and equally slow in performing tasks accordingly. There is a strong quality of irresolution where it is hard to decide little things. This explains the timid nature of an individual. One can also describe the above state as an inborn tendency to weariness, tiredness, with absolutely no inclination to work. In fact whenever you meet such individuals they are either relaxing on bed or sitting on an easy-chair doing nothing. They do not have any hobbies which take them out-doors.
On the other side Graphites patients are full of fears and are frightened easily, especially fear of any calamity, misfortune. Whenever they are passing through any frightful situation they may develop physical symptoms. Extreme fear may lead to tearful mood and they weep very easily especially in a musical atmosphere. They are tearful during their menses and whenever they weep they get a good amelioration of their physical symptoms.
Such patients, when they visit the doctor for their problem, immediately think of death even though the disease is functional and not organic.
Sadness thinks of nothing but death. In domestic and day to day life they are the most difficult people to tackle as they grieve over slightest occurrences. Also they become sad and depressed over trivial matters. They also get irritable very easily especially when spoken to. The older individuals remember all the events of youth but recent events are forgotten. One may also come across an individual of highly intellectual type who during the course of illness develops inability to apply the mind, dread of normal work, anxiety, restlessness. Their anxiety also comes in the way of their sleep characterized by crowding of thoughts of spiritual welfare and occurrences of the day. Graphites is suited to persons who have a tendency to put on unhealthy fat. They are always cold indoors as well as outdoors. In short they are supersensitive to cold.
Whenever you come across a patient who at the level of mind has prolonged grief or chronic fears are at the physical level suppression of skin eruptions by application of strong ointment, lifting heavy objects (severe physical exertion for prolonged period) and then during their life they develop benign or malignant growth of the breast-Graphites is indicated.
Graphites is also suitable for those individuals who have tendency to grow cystic tumours, wens, etc. in short this drug truly exhibits cancerous diathesis.
It is especially indicated in breast cancer that develops from old cicatrices formed after repeated abscesses in breast. Also whenever there is suppuration within the breast which heals by formation of hard scars, Graphites is of tremendous help. The nipples are aching, sore, bleeding with oozing of thick glutinous fluid which forms a crust. As the mammary glands are enlarged, hard and full of scar tissue, similarly the ovaries are enlarged, tender, hard, painful, worse before or during menses. Left ovary is usually more affected than the right.
The malignant tendency of Graphites is also seen in uterus with cauliflower growths characterized by severe lancinating pains radiating down the thighs. Due to the size of tumour (ovarian or uterine), the woman may feel heaviness at the site of tumour, either left of right iliac fossa or hypogastrium.
As far as menstruation is concerned, the cycles are always late, scanty and irregular.
Hoarseness, coryza, cough, morning sickness, swelling of feet and headache may occur during menses.
Graphites woman suffers from one of the worst dysmenorrhoeas a woman can suffer. It is characterized by severe bearing down pain in the uterus, accompanied by cold hands and feet, severe headache.
Leucorrhoea is pale, thin, profuse, excoriating, in gushes with severe weakness in the back. It is worse before or after menses, leucorrhoea can be present instead of menses.
Graphites women usually have a history of eczematous eruptions in or around vulva or vagina.
Some clinical observations
• Women with earthy complexion.
• Women having history of skin disease in the past especially at the site of
a. Ante-cubital region
b. Popliteal fossa
c. Margins of scalp
d. Behind ears
which were suppressed by using cortisone ointment.
• Aversion to salt, sweets and fish.
• Desire chicken
• Offensive foot sweat.
Psychologically there is a tendency to feel dazed, confused, especially on waking from sleep. Fixed ideas may obtrude- his soul is separated from his body; strange people are standing beside the bed; is pregnant; something alive is moving around in the belly; legs are made of wood. One peculiar odd sensation in limbs is of brittleness and liability to shatter into little fragments. The patient is apathetic, desiring to be left alone, is illhumoured, peevish, lachrymoses-music may provoke tears.
A heavy trunk , short neck, thin limbs, waxy greasy skin, and irregular teeth are listed as characteristics of the Thuja subject, and in general a sickly look.
Excessive hairiness will be present in women with a growth of a moustache and dark hair on the limbs. Obesity may be present. Movements tend to be unnaturally active and hurried. Hands are cold and clammy to touch. Speech is either hesitant or hurried.
The Thuja subject is unduly chilly and may shiver all over on exposure of the body even to warm air. There is craving for salt and preference for cold food; there is dislike for raw food and potatoes, and intolerance for onions. Thirst is not marked. It is said that fluids when swallowed drop into the stomach with a gurgling sound. The sleep is disturbed by anxious, amorous, sometimes frightful dreams, often of falling from a height. Profuse sweats occur on uncovered parts only. It may be of service at times in acute conditions. It should be considered when there is a history of gonorrhoea or herpes. Other etiological factors pointing to the possible use of Thuja in cancer are –
• Vaccination with severe reaction
• Repeated untaken vaccination
• Serum injections
• Excessive tea drinking
Thuja is a deep-acting remedy and can also be used as an intercurrent. It has a marked affinity for the pathological processes of hypertrophy and hyperplasia – which give rise to benign and malignant neoplasms. It has an affinity for cancer of the eyes (especially epithelioma of the lower lids), lips, tongue, penis, scrotum, prostate, uterus (body and cervix), vulva, larynx, mammae (with bleeding) and leukaemia- all associated with cachexia.
Among the benign tumours, it has an affinity for warts and condylomata at various locations; nodes on the head, face and tongue; styes; staphyloma in the nose; polyps in the ear, nose, bladder, uterus (with metrorrhagia), vulva, and larynx; cysts in the ovary and the cheeks; fibroids of uterus; fungoid growths in urethra; and fatty tumours on the nape of the neck.
The emotional features of the Lachesis subject are characteristic. The subject is liable to be self –conscious, selfish, conceited, jealous and even suspicious without cause. There is often an urge to confess crimes never committed. Unbearable anguish may assail him especially on waking from sleep. Great sensitivity to all stimuli, but especially to touch and noise.
The Lachesis patient is usually dark, spare, with a pale complexion. The face may acquire a purplish and bloated or red, congested, swollen appearance. The expression is anxious, suspicious, even furtive, and the eyes wide as if in fear. The speech is torrential, logorrhoeic, spate, or may be slow and hesitant. Other physical signs that may be present are – shiny tongue with a ‘varnished’ look, spontaneous bruising, purplish discolouration and foul smelling discharges.
This is also a constitutional remedy of the first order for the pre-cancerous and cancerous stages, especially so in the females approaching the fifth decade, following a period of glandular and circulating disturbances affecting the thyroid, ovaries and liver. These disturbances are often accompanied by vertigo, flushes of heat palpitation, general hyperaesthesia (cannot tolerate anything tied around the neck, chest or waist), and often arterial hypertension. If there exists a bloody discharge, it ameliorates the patient (especially the periods). If on the other hand there is cessation of the discharge the condition is aggravated (menopause). There is susceptibility to either extremes of temperature but especially to heat.
Lachesis has a greater affinity for malignant than for benign growths.
It has a strong affinity for malignant ulceration of skin and mucous membranes with easy bleeding – the blood being black, fluid, offensive and with purplish discolouration. It has within its range cancer of face, buccal cavity, lips, tongue, stomach, liver, ovaries, mammae (with bleeding) and larynx. it also has an affinity for tumours of bones (especially vertebrae); nodes in urethra and on neck and face; styes; and sebaceous cysts.
M. Nitric acid:
Psychologically the patient is depressed and anxious, especially in the evening, worries about disease with fear of death.
The patient is easily startled, intolerant of sympathy and extremely hypersensitive to touch, pain, noise or jar. The patient is obstinate, taciturn and may exhibit vindictiveness. The memory is poor and thoughts vanish when attempting to concentrate.
The face appears pale, pinched with sallow complexion and dark rings around the orbits. The subject is likely to be emaciated with obvious weakness manifested by a constant desire to sit or lie down. The limbs show tremors or twitching of muscles.
Discharges offensive, thin, excoriating, bloody and of a dirty yellowish-green colour.
Physiologically the patient is chilly and shivery; even near the fire, the patient has cold hands and feet. There is craving for both fats and salt. Occasionally there could be perversion of appetite with a desire for chalk, lime, earth. Bread always disagrees with the patient. The patient tends to be drowsy during the day. There is profuse sweat on hands and feet which are very exhausting and malodourous. The most prominent feature is extreme weakness and cachexia. Peculiar sharp splinter-like pain which comes and goes suddenly. Those peculiar pains are worse by touch, by contact, by movement, when swallowing, when passing a stool or from contact or dressings with the surface of an ulcer.
Haemorrhages are apt to occur from any mucous surface and are usually of bright red blood.
This remedy has a profound action on various cells of human tissue, producing multiple syco-syphilitic affections. It possesses an affinity for mucocutaneous junctions (oral cavity, anus) resulting in development of cracks, fissures and ulcers, ultimately leading to malignant changes. It has within its sphere malignancy of tongue, liver, rectum, uterus, breasts, larynx, skin and bones – with marked malignant cachexia. It also covers tumours of eyes (staphyloma, dermoid, etc) and mouth (painless); warts and condylomata at various places; polyps in ear, nose, larynx, and uterus, fibroids of uterus (with metrorrhagia); exostoses and caries of bones and hypertrophied prostate.
II. Cancer Remedies
There are numerous remedies for cancer in homoeopathy. Here I have selected a few out of the group as I have confirmed their clinical value in my practice or have read about them in the scientific journals. For the sake of convenience, I have classified these remedies into various groups:
A. The most habitual remedies:
These are the ones which have revealed their constant action on the tumors element as well as the general state.
1. Sedum acre and Sedum repens:
In material doses, mother tincture, 1x and 3x, they have an undeniable action on cancer in general, give weight to the patient, and occasionally modify the tumour, or at least retard its progress. Their principal sign is their tendency to mucosal and cutaneous fissures which are so frequent in cancer or precancerous state.
2. Scrofularia nodosa:
This remedy acts especially on cancer of breast, skin, uterus, rectum, in low potencies or material doses, especially if there is marked glandular invasion. It is also a good remedy for Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
3. Sempervivum tectorum:
Lingual, breast, rectal and other cancers with stabbing pains. Its tendency to apthae, to malignant ulcers, specially indicates it in ulcerated cancer. It must also be used in mother tincture or low potencies.
I have observed the value of Cundurango in oesophageal, stomach or intestinal cancers. Constant burning pains and vomiting. One of its valuable external sign is fissure of the labial commissures. It also acts on cancer situated at the muco-cutaneous junctions like, lips, anus, and lids.
5. Cistus Canadensis:
This remedy acts especially in cancer of the breast, pharynx, face and neck and gives rise to very marked cervical adenopathy. The patient is extremely sensitive to cold with marked coldness of various parts.
As good for the breast as for the stomach, Hydrastis is of great value in cancer, ulcerated or not, with progressive debility and yellowish, stringy discharges.
Bleeding, ulcerations, vegetations, develop rapidly and emit a burning discharge, excoriating, fetid; such are the principal signs of Kreosotum which acts especially well in cancer of cervix.
This remedy has a remarkable action on the pyloroduodenal sphere. Its main use is in cases which are associated with vomiting of coffee ground colour. There is presence of pain in the stomach which is increased when food passes through the pyloric outlet.
9. Carbo animalis:
Carbo animalis is one of the best remedies for the established tumour, hard tumour; indurated and swollen lymphatic glands, sub-cutaneous venous distention, bluish discolouration of infiltrated tissues, burning pains, gastric flatulence. It has a special selective action on the breast and stomach cancer and merits special mention not only for its beneficial effects on the general state (gain of weight or temporary arrest of wasting) but also for its action on the tumour itself which regresses, becomes less hard with amelioration of pains.
B. Remedies for pain:
1. Arsenic album: Pains are maddening, burn like fire. Pains are better by local application of heat, pain causes shortness of breath or chilliness. Sudden great weakness with restlessness is important concomitant.
2. Apis mellifica: Burning, stinging pricks as with red hot needles associated with numbness, shiny red discolouration. Especially useful for relieving pains that arise from carcinoma of the tongue, breast, larynx and ovary.
3. Arnica: Bruised pain which arises from the cancerous part associated with ecchymotic blue black spots following traumatism. Chiefly used in case of benign and malignant tumour of the breast.
4. Bryonia: The pains are bursting, stitching or heavy sore; going backwards. Slightest movements are very painful. While coughing holds sides, chest, and head. Pains are associated with streaks of red- lymphangitis, especially in breast cancer where breast ought to be supported or bound.
5. Calcarea aceticum: Mentioned earlier under the Calcarea group.
6. Euphorbium: There is extreme sensation of burning with lancinating pain, especially in bones at night. Chiefly useful for relieving the pain of osteogenic sarcoma and multiple myeloma.
7. Magnesium phos: Mentioned earlier under the Magnesium group.
8. Ruta: The pains are bruised, sore, aching, with restlessness, especially arising from osseous or periosteal tissue. There is presence of intense weakness. The selective spheres actions are bone, periosteum, cartilage, and rectum.
C. Organ and rare remedies:
They have clinical confirmation of their use in cancerous ulcers and nodulated tumours of the tongue.
1. Galium aparine: It has a specific action on the urinary organs producing diuresis. It has been used for ulcerated cancers and for nodulated tumours of tongue.
2. Fuligo lingi: It is useful in epithelioma of the skin and for cancer especially of scrotum and uterus. It is also used for obstinate non-healing malignant ulcers of the skin.
3. Hoang nan: It is capable of ameliorating the fetor and haemorrhages of cancer by causing an improvement in the general condition. It is especially indicated in cancer of the glandular structures.
4. Cinnamomum: It is especially indicated in cancer when pain and fetor are present. It is useful in haemorrhages which are bright red in colour.
5. Anantherum: It is useful in induration of breasts, tongue and cervix characterized by ulceration, inflammation and enlargement of lymph glands.
6. Choline: Choline is a constituent of Taraxacum root. It has given encouraging result in the treatment of cancer, especially through its action on the liver.
7. Cholesterinum: It is used for cancer of liver where presence of jaundice or gall stones are important pathological findings.
8. Eosin: It is useful for burning pain of cancer as reported by Dr. B.C. Woodbury.
9. Radium bromide: It is useful for cutaneous epitheliomata and as an antidote for bad effects of X-ray radiation in a patient who has been treated too intensely. It is also used in cases of ulcers due to radium burns which take a long time to heal.
10. X-ray: It is usually indicated in cases following skin lesions produced by repeated exposure to X-ray. X-ray is also used in leukemia. It antidotes the unfortunate effects of radium in patients who have been treated by it.
About the Author:
DR. FAROKH J. MASTER
Homoeopathic Health Center
Bombay Hospital and Medical Research Center
King Edward Memorial Hospital
Kamalnayan Bajaj Cancer Hospital Ruby Hall, Pune
Bai Jerbai Wadia Children’s Hospital
Nowrosjee Wadia Woman’s Hospital
Bomanjee Petit Parsi General Hospital
Motiwala Homeopathic Medical College Cancer Department, Nashik