A 48 year old male consulted me in May 2012 at ‘the other song’ academy with diagnosis of cancer of the tongue with lymph nodal metastasis. He had a history of tobacco chewing. Biopsy showed grade two Squamous cell carcinoma. On examination, it was found that more than half of the tongue was ulcerated, inflamed and disfigured. A renowned oncologist had advised immediate surgery of tongue as the only means of treatments, however, it would result in loss of speech and loss of eating for the patient for his whole life. The patient and his relatives were very much concerned about saving the tongue and they approached us in such a condition.
The patient’s main complaint was that whatever he ate would get stuck on the ulcer with burning sensation. He also had difficulty in swallowing with occasional pain in his ears. He used to be very stressed when he saw his children and family members upset due to his illness, as if he had some fatal disease (the patient was unaware that he had cancer). If at all it was a major illness, his concern was for his family, especially his children, always thinking what would happen to them.
When asked about what must have caused his illness his reply was the death of father. After the death of his father he had started having a lot of tobacco and alcohol. He said that if his father was alive he wouldn’t have gone astray, as his father would not have left him free to go out with his friends and do as he wished; he would have disciplined him.While the interview was on, it was observed that he had a typically knobby nose.
By nature, he is a very free person; enjoys going out with friends, he is friendly to kids, elders and people of his age. He likes going out eating non – vegetarian food (that is prohibited by his religion), drinking alcohol and watching movies, especially action movies. He enjoys going out with his friends because that would mean a lot of freedom for him, that he could do all he wanted. He also goes out with his family but then with family he feels he has to maintain a lot of discipline and restrictions. He has to think of what is right and wrong because his wife and mother are there. Though he is worried due to his illness, he knows his wife can take care of his family. He is very dependent on his wife and says that she takes care of their kids well and looks after most of the household things including healthcare of the family.
The biggest grief for him was the loss of his father. He says that he had done everything; taken care of finance and the house so there was not much stress, but his demise meant an absence of an elderly hand. There was no one above him to tell him if something was right or wrong. Earlier, it was his fear that kept him away from bad habits, but after he passed away, all the bad habits started. His father was very strict and would not refrain from hitting him in front of his wife if he did something wrong.
When asked about his fears, he said that he had fear of cancer. The fear being mostly for his children, as they were young and not well settled so he felt if he was around, he could help them settle down. However, he knew that if something happened to him, his wife who was educated would take care of everything.
He said if someone has cancer, he cannot eat or drink anything, he would not be able to move around much, just within the room or from one room to the other. But with all this his main concern was that if his complaint was really cancer, then he wouldn’t be able to eat or drink anything. Sometimes he has the pain in chest (experienced as a tightness), and he feels a lot anxiety and restlessness then. His sleep is disturbed due to anxiety. He sleeps on his abdomen. He has fear of high places. He has a craving for meat & spicy food. He must uncover his feet during sleep at night.
Observation: fissured tongue.
My line of treatment was aimed at first preventing the surgery and saving his tongue. His medicine according to the Sensation Approach was Calcarea flour (The main theme of Calcarea is the need for a hand above the head, and in the absence of his father he enjoys friends. His father guides him as to what is right and wrong and if required punishes him. When his father is not there he can go in the wrong direction.) Rubrics that covered his symptoms:
Extremities uncover inclination feet night (Calc flour).
Fissured tongue –Nit. acid and Fluoric acid
RUBRICS: (from Millenium Repertory)
- Childish behaviour (Calcarea)
- Anxiety, constriction of chest
- Anxiety, future about
- Anxiety, health about
- Anxiety, Sleep disturbed with
- Fear of cancer
- Fear of disease impending
- Fear of high places.
- Sleep position abdomen on (Calcarea)
- Nose, knobby (Calcarea)
- Desire meat
- Desire spicy
- Hot patient
References: Calcarea flour
Boericke’s Materia Medica:
It is well known for ulceration of mouth, caries and necrosis.
He was advised to take the remedy in 30 potency, thrice daily, along with Nitric acid 3C, every 3 hours (one drop in 1 tablespoon of water). Nitric acid has special affinity for Squamous cell carcinoma of the mouth. Also, the time limit in which we had to show results was too short, so we had to give a remedy, which produced instantaneous results locally. In my experience Nitric acid given repeatedly in low potencies acts fast on the local pathology of cancer of the tongue.
The oncosurgeon who had earlier suggested resection as the only option, was highly surprised to see his progress in only the next seven days. He reconsidered his opinion for surgery and instead advised radiation and chemotherapy. Because of metastasis to lymph nodes, I allowed the patient to take chemotherapy & radiation. (4 cycles of chemotherapy – Cisplatin + Placitaxel and 29 cycles of radiation.) He was not willing to resort to chemotherapy and had lot of fear of chemotherapy, when he was told he has cancer and will have to undergo chemotherapy.
Uranium nitrate 30, one dose before and after chemotherapy helped and boosted him a lot.
His progress was good and Uranium nitrate took care of the side effects of chemotherapy.
From my Uranium nitricum proving, I observed that the state of the prover’s resembled the state produced in patients during and after chemotherapy.
Some of the symptoms that came up during proving were (extracts from Sujit’s Uranium nitricum proving – ReferenceWorksPro – 184.108.40.206, by David Kent Warkentin and Michael Hourigan)
1. Depressed and hopeless.
2. In a difficult situation feeling that there is nobody to help.
3. Mentally and physically exhausted, tired and physically weak.
4. Delusion about to die.
5. Beyond control or chaos.
From my vast clinical experience, I can state Uranium nitrate 30 one dose before and after chemotherapy nullifies the side effect of chemotherapy in majority of the cases.
At one point, he developed side effects of radiation and a few doses of Cobalt metallicum 30, followed by Radium bromatum 30, cleared majority of them. After that (in November 2012) he had a very severe hospital acquired fungal infection of the buccal cavity which did not respond to antibiotics. But here Bacillinum 30, two doses worked miraculously (one of the indication is when antibiotics fail to cure fungal infections – from my experience. Besides patient also had suffocative cough, desire for travelling and history of herpes zoster which are covered by Bacillinum).
Fig.1: May 2012 (few days after starting the treatment)
Follow up – 18th, July 2012:
Carcinosin Mouth 30 one dose (fear of cancer and special affinity to the organ)
MRI: 14.08.2012: Complete resolution of the mass lesion and enlarged nodes no new lesions, excellent progress.
Follow up – 15th October, 2012:
Developed jerking during sleep, and somnambulism, mouth apthae and angular stomatitis.
Rubrics taken were
Generalities: jerking, sleep during
Mouth: angular stomatitis
All were covered by Nitric acid
Rx: Nitric acid 3C followed by 30 and then 200
Fig: 2 After treatment (24th November, 2012)
Follow up on 24.11.2012:
Can open mouth, weakness reduced, and good appetite. He goes out for movies. All investigations are normal.
Treatment: Calcarea flour 30
Follow Up – 8th December, 2012:
MRI dated 08.12.2012:
Post radiotherapy changes
He had side effects of radiotherapy
Treatment: Radium brom 30
(To nullify the side effects of radiation.)
Follow Up – 28th January, 2013:
Weight – 78kg
Overall general condition better
Treatment: Calcarea flour 30
Follow Up – 14th February, 2013:
Weight – 79kg
Frequency of getting up at night decreased. Dryness of mouth decreased
Developed minor joint and knee pain
Treatment: Calcarea flour 30
Follow up – 26th March, 2013:
He developed unnatural looseness of teeth (side effects of radiation taken long ago), and he was unable to open his mouth at this time. I repeated Calcarea flour in 30, 200, 1M in the Plussing method*. That was again repeated after 2 months. In between I gave Carcinosin Mouth 1M
- Plussing method – this is a method of repetition of doses which I use especially in chronic pathological cases. The patient is given increasing potencies of the same medicine – 30. 200 and 1M. Over the first day, he is asked to dissolve 4 pills or 1 drop of the 30th potency in about 60 ml of water. Ten strokes have to be given to the bottle and the patient has to then have about 1/3rd of the liquid medicine (about 20 ml). The amount of medicine depleted is to be replaced by water in the same bottle. And the patient is to repeat the dose twice more over the day. The same mode of repetition of doses is to be followed over the next 2 days with the 200th potency first and then with 1M potency.
(References: Boericke’s Materia Medica Calcarea flour: Use after surgery, tendency to adhesion is reduced. Mouth – unnaturally looseness of teeth with or without pain Teeth becomes loose in their socket.)
Latest Follow up – October 2013:
Weight – 84kg
D: How are you?
P: I am fine
Opening of mouth is more comfortable now, it has improved compared to earlier; before was not able to eat with a spoon. Now the tongue comes out.
D: How is your sleep and mood?
P: Both are fine
Patient’s Wife: He is much better, no one would believe that he is suffering from cancer, the dentist at our place also said that we can’t believe that he is a cancer patient, he is not sluggish or depressed like other cancer patients.
D: What are the changes since we started the medicine?
Patient’s wife: His life has been saved, that is the main thing. Allopathic doctors had asked to operate on the tongue and that has been saved. He wouldn’t have been able to talk then if it was operated on. In the first visit the oncologist asked to get the operation done. He had said that there is no other solution than operating.
Even the oncologist was shocked to see the reports all the doctors have written that his results are excellent. One of the surgeons said that the disease is under control. The oncologist couldn’t believe that the patient, for who he had asked to operate on immediately, is doing so well without surgery.
Observation: (Desperate need of going out with friends, eating non veg, watching movies etc. has decreased a lot. Now-a-days visits a lot of religious places. He has started his work. Dependency on wife has also decreased.)
Fig: 3 (October, 2013)
In this case along with chemotherapy and radiation, the homoeopathic medicine played a very important role to boost his vitality and to remove all side effects of chemotherapy and radiation. Also, Nitric acid 3C had very quick local action on the tumor.
Cancer is an acute exacerbation of chronic illness, so we need to give more than one remedy depending upon the state of the person. In my experience, giving only one remedy and waiting does not help cancer cases.
I have treated quite a few cancer cases over the years, cancers of different organs and cancer at various stages. The scope of Homoeopathy varies with each. Homoeopathy acts best at preventing recurrence of the condition. In initial stages it has a very good scope, however at stage 2 and beyond, Homoeopathy acts best in conjunction with modern medicine for such severe pathologies.
Cancer is often a fulminating condition and one needs to act fast at a local level to control it. For this, often remedies given together with the simillimum also produce good results. I often use organ remedies like Carcinosin hepatis, Carcinosin lung, Carcinosin liver, Carcinosin melanoma, Carcinosin brain, Carcinosin adenocarcinoma etc for good results for cancers of those organs. Sometimes remedies like Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C used in liver cancer also, yield good results.
Often, I use Actinides, whose toxicological symptoms match the diseased condition. For eg, Thorium has a special affinity for the pancreas, bones, lungs and liver. In patients with advanced cancers with metastasis to organs, which Thorium has an affinity to, this remedy can produce miraculous results. Sometimes, a patient with liver cancer comes to me with marked jaundice, complete loss of appetite, scapular pain and amelioration from warm drinks. Then I first start the patient with a specific remedy like Chelidonium in low potencies. That gives a huge symptomatic relief to the person, after which the simillimum can carry the case further.
In patients with advanced cancer, one of the commonest complaints is symptoms from the side effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Homoeopathy has answers to those to. I effectively use a few timely doses of Uranium nitricum before and after chemotherapy. Similarly, Radium brom and Cobaltum are used to nullify the side effects of radiotherapy. Uranium nitricum is also known to produce a ‘zeal for life’ in hopeless cases. Here such medicines, nullify the side effects and increase the vitality in a patient.
Important in cancer cases is to control the spread, give relief to the suffering patient and nullify the side effects. To do this may involve use of more than one remedy, but what is important is to have a timely solution to the endless agony and a solution to the otherwise inevitable end of this fatal condition.
A female patient of 23yrs Old came to The Other Song Academy with history of recurrent Phthisis on 2nd March 2013.
CT scan: 12th February 2013 post infective sequelae with moderate fibronodular thickening, multiple small calcified and few non – calcified lung nodules are detected in left upper and lower lobes of lung as well as right upper lobe.
Her chief complaint was that she was losing weight constantly and her current weight was 39kgs. She was getting recurrent fevers with headache with weakness and dullness when the temperature rose up to 100 -102 degree Fahrenheit. With fever, her child generally started at around 4 pm. The patient had already taken AKT (Anti – Koch’s treatment) course but still there was a relapse and hence she didn’t want to take any AKT drugs again.
She had pain in her chest and extremities especially the joints, this pain would come up suddenly. There was no feeling of the freshness in the morning. She had a lot of weakness and dullness. She had complaints of backache and leucorrhoea before menses. She had lot of pain in her toes, which was aggravated bending. Her main feeling was that she was tired of the illness and should not fall ill again and again,
The relapses of phthisis were after the death of her mother. Her feeling was what will happen to her after mother passed away; that she would be alone and left with no support. Further, she stated that her sister was her great support to her. She had a strong issue with her sister-in-law (Brother’s wife) who wouldn’t take care of her and scolded and criticized her. She is very sensitive to being neglected and to reprimands. She wanted to do MBA but didn’t do it as there was no support and due to lots of health issues of her mother and father and she had no money. She also had a feeling that she needs to be independent but financially she was completely dependent on her father.
The main point about her, that was the anchor of the case also, was RECURRENT PHTHISIS so the first thing that was taken was pulmonary phthisis recurring (PHATAK HAS ONLY TWO REMEDIES: FERRUM PHOS AND KALI NITRATE) She had strong fever. Characteristic symptom : her chill would come sharp at 4pm. She had headache during her fever, lot of weakness and dullness. She had pain in chest left side that would come upwards. She had pain in toes that was aggravated by bending toes (bending of the affected parts agg.)
All her main issues are of finance, she has lot of anxiety about family, education and health and she is totally dependent on her father. So the main thing was, if there is any problem, father is there to support her. These are all issues of Row 4 and Column 1.
Then she had fear and was aggravated in closed places where her main feeling was difficulty in breathing, no air; feels suffocated and needs to come out quickly (FEELING OF NITROGEN). Her only feeling was she should not fall sick again and again.
- Chills 4pm
- Head pain, headache fever during
- Ext. Coldness, chilliness, hands, fever during
- Chest Phthisis Pulmonalis, recurring
- Mind Fear suffocating
- Chest, pain, left
- Back pain menses during
- Generalities menses before
- Female leucorrhoea menses before
- Generalities cold agg.
- Mind, grief
- Stomach thirstless
REMEDY PRESCRIBED: Kali nitrate 200 twice a day for 2 days.
Follow Up – 12th April 2013:
Appetite has improved.
Thirst has improved.
Feels fresh now.
Moods have also improved.
No headaches in this month.
Weight: 40 kg
Energy levels have improved.
RX: Placebo 200-C – BD for1 month SOS 2: 4 powder
Kalium nitricum 200-C – Single dose, sos1: 4 packets
Follow Up – 9th May, 2013:
Cough is better.
Energy level is better.
Weight has increased to 42kg.
Moods are good.
I have a good energy level feel very fresh earlier I wouldn’t like anything wouldn’t like to interact much with people around. But now I feel good.
Appetite and thirst: improved.
RX: Placebo twice a day for one month/ Kalium nitricum – 200 as SOS
Follow Up – 5th July, 2013:
Had mild cough and fever. Perspiration with pain – dysmenorrhea.
Rx: Kalium nitricum 200 twice a day for a day
Follow Up – 29th September, 2013:
I am much better, no fever.
Just cough for 2-3 days.
Numbness of legs after sitting for long.
Face – pigmentation.
Dysmenorrhea has reduced.
No perspiration during the pain and the severity of pain has reduced.
Good energy level.
No more depressed about things. My sister in law no more depresses me or I don’t feel negative about what she tells. These were the deeper changes during the follow up.
WEIGHT HAS INCREASED.
Pain has reduced.
Previously was down with fever every month now past 6 months had fever one or two time that also went away without medication and there was no dullness or any other complaint before during or after fever. It just passed off.
In 6months 70% better.
Rx: Placebo twice a day for one month/ Kali nit – 200 as SOS
Follow Up – 8th November, 2013 :
Immunity has improved.
Has no fever or cough or cold.
Rx: Placebo BD for 15 days.
X-ray Report on 08.11.2013: No abnormality detected.
The main lesson from this case was that Dr. Phatak’s repertory rubrics are really helpful in pathological cases. Along with the symptoms, in most cases, when the system comes together (in above case – it is the understanding of the mineral kingdom, Row 4 and the theme of Kali and Nitrate) then there is greater confidence in prescribing and the results are also excellent. In practice, we call this coming together of approaches ‘Synergy’.