Cancer is that dreaded phenomenon which has long haunted mankind. Homoeopathy has extracted the curative principles from the obnoxious products of this disorder. Carcinosinum or Carcinosin, is a cancer nosode of a very deep acting nature with an excellent record. Carcinosin has shown its efficacy by helping some of the most difficult and stubborn cases. Many practitioners have reported marvelous results using Carcinosin, but the available literature on it is not very extensive. The credit for bringing Carcinosin into the lime light goes to Dr. W. Lees Templeton and Dr. Donald M. Foubister.
We know the importance of the doctrine of drug provings and the law of similars, which is the backbone of homoeopathy. Regarding Carcinosin however, most of the frequently used symptomatology is based on clinical findings and not as a result of homoeopathic drug provings. The only records of symptomatology obtained by proper drug provings, are those of Dr. Templeton. Most homoeopaths prescribe this nosode on the writings of Dr. Foubister, whose work was entirely based on clinical finding in 200 cases at his children’s OPD. The rest of the published work is by different authors who were mostly influenced by Foubister, or who have published their own clinical findings. As stated before , Dr. Templeton did the only provings. These were not very extensive and the symptomatology obtained is negligible.
Dr. Templeton was the dean of the faculty of homoeopathy and director of provings at Royal London Homoeopathic Hospital. He carried out a proving of Carcinosin around 1952-53, dividing provers into two groups. Group- I consisted of 4 provers and 4 controls; Group-II consisted of 5 provers & 4 controls. The drug was proved in the 30 and 200 potencies.
Some of the symptoms obtained by Dr. Templeton are:
Mentals - Fogged, aware but does not register, must think deliberately, forgets normal things like spectacles, concentration difficult, dull, disinterested, averse to conversation.
Head – Thumping, throbbing headache, right sided, brain felt tight.
Eyes - Twitching eyelids.
Ear, nose, throat – Sensation like a lump, soreness of palate, aggravation empty swallowing, aggravation warm drinks, amelioration cold.
Mouth – Tender gums, aching teeth, ulcers.
Respiratory – Cough, stomach cough, from tickling at pit of throat, aggravation warmth, warm room, cold air, aggravation, laughing, talking, dressing and undressing, yawning.
Heart – Violent action, can hear it, can feel it, as if heart constricted, tightness.
Stomach, abdomen, and rectum – tight constricting, pain ameliorated by bending, pressure, hot drinks. Constipation- lacks desire.
Back & extremities – Twitching muscles in thighs, arms & back; aching, weak, tired numb feeling in thighs, better for short sleep. Pain ameliorated by warmth, gentle movement; aggravated by quick movement.
Skin – Acne, rash between shoulders, aggravated by undressing.
Sleep – Restless, disturbed, difficulty in getting to sleep, wakened by twitching, exciting dreams, mind too active, awake most of the night.
Dr. Foubister was physician in charge of the Children’s Department at the same institute. He observed two children born to a mother who was suffering from carcinoma of the breast. Both these children shared similar characteristics, such as cafÃ©-au-lait appearance, blue sclerotics, numerous moles over body and insomnia. Out of curiosity, Foubister investigated 200 cases in his OPD, of children with a similar appearance for a history of cancer. He found that there was a strong family history of cancer, diabetes mellitus and tuberculosis in these cases.
The report of Templeton’s proving and the results of Foubister’s clinical findings were published in the British Homoeopathic Journal in April 1954.vol.43, i.e. in the same issue.
The original source of the carcinosin nosode is not known but some authors suggest it was a preparation from carcinoma of the breast, of which most of the symptomatology is procured.
The symptomatology of Carcinosin can be divided into:
(i) Symptoms of proving – by Dr. Templeton, as mentioned above.
(ii) Clinical symptoms – most of the symptoms available today were derived from clinical experience.
Prescribing criteria for Carcinosin can be summarized as follows:
· CafÃ©-au-lait appearance (coffee with milk appearance)
· Numerous moles all over the body
· Blue sclerotic (bluishness of sclera)
· Tendency to insomnia
· A family history of cancer, diabetes mellitus, tuberculosis, pernicious anaemia, thalassaemia, tuberculosis, schizophrenia, insanity, leukemia, arthritis.
· A history of cancer in children to prescribe for parents.
· A history of cancer in wife to prescribe for husband & vice-versa (?)
· Fastidious, obstinate person who enjoys watching a thunderstorm
· Marked sense of rhythm, loves dancing
· Sympathetic to others
· Bad effects of fear; mental cases with a background of fright, prolonged fear or unhappiness
· Marked anticipation causes worry and anguish
· He is very intelligent, artistic OR very dull, idiotic, lack of mental development.
· Absence of any of the childhood diseases is a strong keynote.
· When there is a partial indication of two or even many remedies, but not one covers the full case.
· There can be a desire for or aversion to salt, milk, egg, fat, fruits
· There can be a marked aggravation or amelioration at seaside.
· Aggravation or amelioration from hot or cold
· Genu-pectoral position during sleep
· Aggravation from undressing (cough, skin problem)
· Amelioration after a short sleep
· A history of rape
To explain the contrasting modalities, desires and aversions of Carcinosin, Frank W. Gruber described a cycle of Carcinosin which shows how the modalities, desires and aversions change as the patient passes from one phase to another of this cycle. I found this cycle concept interesting and informative. He mentioned six phases of this cycle through which a Carcinosin patient passes and gave contrasting features for the same stimulus which reflects in his desires, aversions, aggravations and ameliorations. And these phases are: