Clinical Cases

Mammary Tumour

J. Compton Burnett MD, presents a case of mammary tumor in a woman of 26.

Compton Burnett MD (1840-1901)

Tumour of Left Breast.  On April 16th, 1888, Mrs. X., a young widow, twenty-six years of age, mother of two children, both of whom have, however, died, came telling me she had been under treatment at St. Thomas’s Hospital and elsewhere, for a tumour of the breast. Menses regular, but painful.  The tumour is more painful at the monthly time. She had a knock on the left breast 15 months ago. The  hospital surgeon, and the surgeons at St. Thomas’s, and also the surgeons  at the country town whence she hails, all recommended operation.  “Do those gentlemen all recommend an operation ?’  “ Yes, sir, all of them.”

In the outer aspect of the left breast I found a very painful swelling, the corresponding part of the right breast being also tender to the touch but not the seat of any tumour. Patient was of opinion that the tumour in the left breast was a trifle smaller than it had been, but much more painful. Anorexia, anarmia.  Has been twice vaccinated; had bad measles, a weak chest, pneumonia, bronchitis, low fever and much grief.

The first two very obvious points in this case were the grief — fancy a young women of delicate health, who had lost her two babes and her husband, and who had been recommended by half a-dozen surgeons of repute to have one of her breasts ablated — then there was, probably, some blow, in fact she  dated the whole thing to a blow.  Therefore I gave her Ignatia  amara (dear old Hahnemann, thou hadst not lived in vain if thou hadst left us nought but this one thrice- blessed therapeutic legacy ! ) and Bellis  perennis.

May 16th — Patient is brighter and better in her self. The tumour is very  painful and more defined.  Rx: Thuja occid. 30.

June 13th — Better in health. Very bilious and many headaches.  Rx: Psor. 30.

July 16th — At first the lump swelled a good deal and then went down again.  Patient is very yellow and bilious. The  tumour very tender. Rx:  Hydrastis Can.

August 20th, — She does not think  there is any real improvement.  Rx: Fer. picrum. 3, three drops in water night and morning.

October 15th — Nearly well, but  she suffers fearfully from neuralgia of  the jaw.    Rx: Bacill. 30.

November. — Very bad bilious attack and the tumour has increased in size  somewhat.  Rx:  Hydrastis Can.

January 14/th 1889 — The tumour  is nearly gone, she says, and I have  difficulty in finding its remnant. She  is very pale and bilious.   Rx: Rubia tinctoria

March 11th— The little bit of the  tumour that remains is now more evidenced by pains than by bulk. Rx: Morbill. 30.

April 8th. — Pain is nearly gone, but she will have it that the tumour has grown again a little.   Rx Rep. (C.)

June  — The tumour is quite  gone. Patient is still pale and there is still a little pleurodynia.   B. Sabina 30.  This ended the matter. Patient  continues well and has no tumour —  Saint Thomas’s prognosis notwithstanding.

Excerpted from: Tumours of the Breast and Their Treatment and Cure by Medicines – J.Compton Burnett MD

About the author

James Compton Burnett

James Compton Burnett

James Compton Burnett was born on July 10, 1840 and died April 2, 1901. Dr. Burnett attended medical school in Vienna, Austria in 1865. Alfred Hawkes converted him to homeopathy in 1872 (in Glasgow). In 1876 he took his MD degree.
Burnett was one of the first to speak about vaccination triggering illness. This was discussed in his book, Vaccinosis, published in 1884. He introduced the remedy Bacillinum. He authored twenty books, including the much loved "Fifty Reason for Being a Homeopath." He was the editor of The Homoeopathic World.

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