Homeopathy Papers

Cancer and Homeopathy

In this article, Dr. Emil Schlegel (1852-1934) describes the different standpoints and practical therapeutics of medical science and homeopathy in relation to the cancer problem, and the role of surgery, diet and different medicines in its treatment, homeopathy in particular. Dr. Schlegel was a highly respected homeopath from Tubingen Germany.

Ladies and gentleman, you have done me the honor of inviting me to give an address on cancer, after the publication of my book on the same subject at the beginning of this year. In this book I have attempted to collect and examine all our present knowledge of cancer and all important efforts to cure it, and, at the same time, to give from the point of view of modern medical science a criticism of all the several branches of the problem, and to represent homeopathic therapeutics as fully justified and comparatively helpful and promising, an opinion, in entertaining which I feel perfectly justified by reason of my studies and the experiences I have made.

From the native land of our countryman, Samuel Hahnemann, still so little really known in all his intellectuality, I come to-day before you with the attempt to give a true appreciation of his great therapeutic idea in connection with that terrible disease. Far more than a century has passed since Hahnemann came forward with his theory and teachings. lt is only during the last fifty years that the cancer problem has been seriously tackled in this direction. And here English doctors took the lead, as, for example, Pattison, Cooper, and Burnett. The practical side to the problem was first tackled; the scientific one followed, as a matter of course. But whilst those leading doctors’ ideas developed in touch with life itself, biologically, as, warranted by modern science, we say today, the medical schools have, all that time, been making an enormous display of unfruitful scientific learning, and are still continuing to do so.

Now if we put the question, what standpoint medical science, and practical therapeutics especially, take at all in relation to the cancer problem, the answer must be: Medical science is in no ways bound by any knowledge whatever that we may possess of the nature of cancer, or forced by binding obligations to repel the disease according to some prescribed method. lt is free, thanks to the circumstance that no efforts have led to any binding knowledge. Much detailed knowledge, it is true, has been gained of the operations of cancer and its effects on the affected organism by the arranging of natural and artificial experiments; but none of our knowledge extends to the roots of the process, none is clear and definite as to the conclusions to be drawn therefrom for therapeutics. Nor has anything of fundamental importance been ascertained in the case of plants, where we find analogous growths, or of animals that are liable to carcinoma. When one thought to have secured some positive results, the measures based on such proved nevertheless unreliable and have ended in failure. Such experiments are being made everywhere still, and it is to be hoped that they will continue to produce new preliminary information. Hitherto, however, they have not succeeded in giving us any binding therapeutics. So practical medicine has scope enough for activity in all directions as regards the cancer problem. Success alone can be decisive here, whether it is found through surgical, dietetic, medicinal, or X-ray treatment. Thus we homeopaths, too, are at liberty to line up with the others, and have the still greater liberty of criticizing the other schools.

I shall now show in short how, in my opinion, we are to judge of the different methods in therapeutics. The first idea in therapeutics, and one which is perfectly obvious even to the outsider, is that of operation. You see a tumor, and know it does not belong there. To remove it is therefore quite natural. Not all cancers form, as is well known, growths that are accessible for an operation. But even in a case where the tumor can be removed this will not suffice, from the medical point of view. For why should not an organism that has produced such a tumor form a second, if the chance was taken from it to nourish the first? The biological idea is utterly wanting here. And indeed, later there usually grows a second, and even a third tumor, where the first one has been removed by operation. But anyhow, sometimes such an operation proves a successful cure: no second growth comes, no relapse. This fact very strongly supports the cause of surgery. But the absence of second growth is not only the result of the removal of the tumor, but also of biological changes introduced with the operation: the violent psychical impression, perhaps also the narcotization, the loss of blood, the stimulation through the re-absorption of blood, the change in diet, and probably other factors, affect the patient. The operation is more biological than its mere anatomical conception would warrant us to think. Thus, you see, a reaction can be brought about that really has curative power, and thus a recurrence of a tumor may sometimes be prevented. But be that as it may, an operation is a dangerous and imperfect attempt for the cure of cancer, and frequently it is quite out of the question because of the seat and the stage of the disease.

An exactly opposite standpoint is taken by some doctors, who, very few in number for the present, do not at first take the location of the cancerous disease at all into account, and who do not start with the existence of a visible tumor, but rather from the basis of pathology. They are at the same time physiologists, and probably exclusively vegetarians. The very fact that cancer patients are frequently well-fed people who demonstrably have lived on rich, albuminous food and animal products, and that cancer is, on the whole specially prevalent where wealth and luxury abound, has induced a number of doctors to fight the disease by means of strict dieting. You will all know, I presume, the name of L. Duncan-Bulkley, the director of the New York Hospital for Skin and Cancer Diseases, who cannot lack numerous opportunities for making observations and much practical knowledge and experience. He has published a book full of important matter, and is also the editor of the journal Cancer, in collaboration with other doctors belonging to his school of thought. Surgical therapeutics are almost totally ignored by this school. In very many cases of cancer, and also of relapses and metastases, they confined themselves to ordering a strictly vegetarian diet, much uncooked food, and great frugality in eating. Even milk is mostly excluded from this diet. And with this treatment Bulkley has obtained so many cures, that he expects of a general introduction of his method, that the so far irresistibly spreading cancer disease would be checked and driven back. But we may not conceal the fact that cancer sometimes breaks out also in people who have long lived on vegetarian food. I made this observation many years ago already, and it has been confirmed to me by diet doctors. Dr. Bircher-Benner, of Zurich, however, one of the most experienced and successful reformers in diet, added the remark: I have not found any case of cancer with persons who have been fed in the right way on uncooked vegetarian food.” In the last years, the book, “Cancer, its Cause and its Sure Prevention,” written by J. Ellis Barker, has also made a great sensation. Barker gives his own history, that of the member of a family who had cases of cancer to register amongst his ancestors and relatives. He himself had come to the threshold of the disease, as he thinks, though it had not been located yet. By a study of the whole question, he had thereupon gained the conviction that cancer was a disease that had its roots in modern methods of living and of civilization, and that one just had to avoid all these evils so as to retain one’s health. A food treatment in conformity with nature gave back to Barker his full amount of health and vigor, so that he felt justified in standing up for the before-mentioned conception of the malady. He has specially given his attention to the artificial preparation and refining of foodstuffs, to preserves lacking in vitamins, to the preserving of nutritive substances by the addition of chemicals, and he sees in them the greatest evil of civilization. One can add to these observations that the present day saturation of the air with carbonic gases and the contamination of objects that are in daily use with all sorts of deviates of carbon, form a further striking instance of injury done in the way of predisposing to cancer, a fact which is quite consistent with the direct observation of the generating of cancer by soot, paraffin, aniline, petrolic residues, and other carburets. lt is perfectly clear that with the injurious food and the deterioration of the air we breathe, by the enormous amount of motor-gases continually streaming into it, an increase in the disposition to cancer must be produced. It is quite evident, too, that a flight from all these things must put the organism again in a more favorable condition, must give back to it, as it were, its forces of conservation. Now, although the whole movement that starts at this point and that has the aim of keeping clear of the evils of civilization, bears a prophylactic character, we can yet understand how it can also operate therapeutically, viz., if we may take it for granted that also in the case of cancer the human organism retains a biological character, that it defends itself, and that it may also be victorious if the conserving forces of life gain the superiority. And that this is possible Bulkley and others have proved; thus it seems that here a fruitful form of therapeutics is opening up for cancer patients.

All these views have been taken almost straight from experience. But we are in the happy position of being able to support them also from the scientific point of view. The biological bearing of the organism shows itself already in the well-known tarring of rabbits’ ears; the spontaneous absorption of cancerous relapses and of metastases point to the same fact, and even the spontaneous healing of whole cancerous ulcerations that occur sometimes. Through two Viennese scholars, through Freund and Kaminer, we were given, however, in I925, very conclusively, the biochemical foundations for the disposition to carcinoma. They find that in the cancer patient there must be a disposition favorable to the disease. These authors followed up the biochemical process and were able to differentiate it for cancer and sarcoma. A local disposition to cancer arises, in the opinion of these two scholars, when the etherizable sebacic acid which destroys the cell of the carcinoma is used up too much, so that its protective prophylactic effects cease. Thus the protection is proved, as well as the cessation of the protection owing to too great biological demands on it, a conception which fits in exactly with the endeavor to find a form of therapeutics for carcinoma, whether through a direct relief by means of a natural diet, or through other operations, for the success of any mode of procedure will depend on whether the organism regains its original forces that serve as a means of self-preservation. lt is easily conceivable that a certain adaptability will still develop in us and our descendants against the injurious results of civilization. lt will, probably have to be understood so that counteracting matter will appear in the coming generations in abundance and perhaps in manifold selection. But since the injurious influences resulting from technical and chemical contrivances is rapidly on the increase, humanity with its process of adaptability will probably not be able to keep up with it, and a great reform in the use of all that poisonous matter will be necessary so as to reduce the rate of cancer. If the disease has already broken out, it is for many too late, as it is, to make use of medical instructions that are merely negative.

And so we come to the third possibility of gaining the victory over the formation of carcinoma, viz., through medicines. The effect of medicines is a less sympathetic means by which Nature rids us of diseases, as it leads us through unknown processes in the interior of our organism. Whilst surgical activity solves apparently easily understandable problems, and whilst dietetics with their large scope for action are, in reality, as easy to understand, medicinal science leads us into a wonderland. That which is easy to understand in its effects does not belong at all yet to the medicinal province, as, for example, the destructive effects of soda on acids; the latter has its origin in the dark, and emerges from uncontrollable mutual effects in connection with the organism. But nevertheless such effects do exist in a most astonishing manner. We comfort ourselves with the thought that there is much that is obscure in natural process as it is, and that yet we have no doubt whatever about the important interdependency of cause and effect. The whole problem of alimentation falls within this province. From infancy on we demand things the scientific justification of which does not bother us in the least at the first, but the effect of which on the establishment of our body is beyond all doubt. And in reality it is similar with the province of medicinal experience. At all times one has made observations here that are in general established, though it is difficult to turn them to account in the individual case. Extremely different medicines, narcotics as well as strong irritants, and even poisons, of which I will only mention belladonna, conium, chelidonium, potassium, hydrastis, phytolacca, arsenic, have sometimes been found to have a striking effect on cancers; and many cases had to be treated with one of these remedies in order to obtain once again such an unmistakable reaction. Thus it was a matter of chance, somewhat moderated by the tact and sagacity of the doctor, when such a prescription of medicines had to be made. And yet no one dares fully deny those effects, and even where medical skepticism instead of medical skill has been practiced, such remedies were resorted to again in face of the terrible suffering in cancerous diseases.

And now a medical genius came forward, Samuel Hahnemann, whose doctrines in regard to this subject can be summarized thus: Ask Nature! Do not seek to find out scientific names for the different cases of the disease, but rather all its natural phenomena, all its so-called symptoms, objectively and subjectively. Do not let one phenomenon escape you, for they are all the expression of the same inner physical necessity. But do not neglect either to inquire into the natural phenomena of the medicines, examine the effects of belladonna, conium, arsenic, on relatively healthy people, and you will get a whole series of disorders that will often strike you with their great similarity with the symptoms of the maladies that affect human beings; and now, when you find a series of symptoms that are similar to those of cancerous diseases, oppose the most similar ones to the individual malady, by freeing their actual energy from the roughest parts of their material original surroundings, and by thus introducing into the affected organism a superior dynamic force which destroys the effects of the disease, just because it is so similar to it, that it touches the very same points of the organism. lt is perfectly easy to imagine this therapeutical analogy, if you intuitively grasp the effects of a medicine; you have a poisoning of the organism before you, and you can experience it in your own person, as Hahnemann did by taking Peruvian bark. The disorder in his health and the fever he felt reminded him of malaria. In consequence, a similar disease-creating energy must have got into hie system through Peruvian bark. For a long time he carried this impression about in his mind, till the obvious thought struck him that he had here a process determined by some natural law which must also obtain in the case of other helpful medicines. He put this thought to the test with bryonia and ipecacuanha, and was led by such experiments to consider dilutions of those poisons to be more profitable than the undiluted medicinal substances. I repeat, this way the analogy is easy to be imagined, but for a theoretical, scientific development the way is more circuitous and difficult. If one takes Hahnemann’s doctrines as a whole, as we meet them finally in the ” Organon,” it is evident that medical science can only come by a roundabout way to agree with them. But there is another quite short and purely logical way of looking at it, one which is based on natural dynamics and which declares: if in two such vastly complicated systems as we must suppose them to be in people that have fallen ill spontaneously and those that are ill from medicines, there are far-reaching analogies in prominent natural phenomena, there must exist also a relationship, of the inner dynamic, which may include a connection in the mode of cure; this reasoning is correct, but it does not carry us any further. The power to bring us further must come to medical science from experience, from experiment; Hahnemann, as you know, carried through the necessary experiments. By his train of thought the nature of chance has been taken from the whole medical problem, for it is generally valid, in the case of an acute feverish disease as well as that of tuberculosis or cancer; except that all chronic diseases create special difficulties. They consist in the fact that the organism, which in the first stage or in the acute progress of the disease was not capable of healing the still fresh disturbance by means of its forces of conservation, can still less do so when it is in its chronic stage. So if we can perceive in the case of an acute disease that the homeopathic medicine takes effect rapidly and shortens the suffering in a striking fashion, we shall not effect in a case of cancer a sudden turn towards recovery, but we shall have to watch patiently the natural phenomena of the whole chronic state, and again and again try to stimulate the whole constitution with the analogous remedy. But this does not exclude the possibility of our also having some rapid successes, at least initial successes, which encourage us greatly, but which necessitate an exact and favorable continuation along the same before-mentioned line. And some cases, which take their course with too greatly diminished forces of the individual, we shall not be able to save any more.

I am so fortunate as to speak here before convinced homeopathic colleagues. You will agree with me in the before-mentioned formulae for our laws of healing. In reality, this formulation is derived from Hahnemann, though slightly modernized, and it is all the less necessary for us to give any reasons for it, sine the whole modern movement in medical science represents a strong approximation to it. You know also that Hahnemann very strongly stressed the difference between an acute and a chronic state, and that the doctrines were not doctrines at first, but principles founded on experiment. Hahnemann proceeded from observations he had made, and he has said expressly in the “Organon” that, should experience prove “opposite” remedies to be successful, such should be chosen, but if it should justify ” similar” remedies, then they should be selected. Not before he had made such experiments did this great physician lay down his principles, and we can say, through his consultation of Nature and his therapeutics based purely on natural phenomena light was thrown on the science of healing. No one will ever blow out the torch he raised; on the contrary, several movements of medical scholars unite to-day to raise it even higher; it will one day receive its central place, since it is this light that excludes uncertainty and that leads us to successes in the range of the possible. On the whole, we may understand, with medical therapeutics and especially with homeopathic therapeutics, that by these remedies the biological production of protective matter is stimulated.

We have seen, however, that there are also other therapeutical methods. Even amongst the medicinal influences there are other conceptions that are noteworthy. But I shall now only make mention of the X-ray treatment. One sought therewith to kill the cancer, but others have adopted the opinion that the rays call forth a biological counteraction. Thus there might be also some medicines that directly bind the cancer poison and neutralize it, whilst we with our homeopathic views believe in a biological counteraction, in the sense that the medicine is poisonous in itself, in a strong analogy as poisonous as the cancer itself, but that by virtue of its superior dynamic forces, which Hahnemann gave it in the diluting process, it volatilizes again after stimulating the organism. And just with ray treatment we can carry through this opinion, as it is an accepted fact that radium as well as Roentgen rays set as poisons; they are genuine poisons which do their damage by chemical irritation. And as regards the analogy, their effect is not infrequently a complete carcinoma, particularly on the skin. They injure all the tissues, cause, for example, a clouding over of the lenses, and destroy the germinal tissues; the ulcers they produce have often been recognized as genuine cancer and have killed the patient. The ray treatment has therefore to be included in the range of our homeopathic considerations. And so we are also fully justified in working with minimal doses of ray treatment by way of experiment. In 1911 Dr. Stillman Bailey gave an address here at the Congress on this method of therapeutics, and I was exceedingly anxious to hear of the further development of this affair. I have made some experiments in this direction myself, which were very successful in the cases of angioma and lupus; unhappily I was not in a position to proceed with them sufficiently in the case of cancer. lt would be very desirable to hear something about the subject and how far experiments have developed, which I did not succeed in doing in spite of all my endeavors.

But to return to the properly homoeopathic medicines, you will have noticed already that their analogy – as regards their effects – with cancerous diseases is not such a very obvious one. Apart from radium and Roentgen rays, perhaps no medicinal remedy directly produces cancer, except arsenic. But a great many of them do so indirectly, especially the so-called carburets (carbon compounds). Even the tar on rabbits’ ears takes a long time and demands repeated irritations before the cancerous degeneration sets in; occupationally-produced cancers frequently take decades ere the injuries take effect. These facts in themselves lead us to the conclusion that chronic influences prevail chiefly in the generation of this disease, and that the analogy, which first becomes apparent, between a cancerous formation and any effects of a medicine, does not suffice to let us find the remedy which will really help. lt is true, if the forces of conservation are still very good and the whole constitution little taxed, then a reference to such an analogy may lead to rapid success; but with most diseases of this kind we shall have to look for the more deeply-rooted analogy, revealed in preliminary symptoms that have shown themselves for years already in the state of the patient’s health, and so we shall gradually discover signs, say of gout, tuberculosis, sycosis, symptoms which correspond with such medicines as lycopodium, arsenicum iodatum, thuja, nitric acid and others which are in any case necessary for the carrying out of the cure. At the same time and in between we may again make use of directly ulcer-creating medicines, such as phytolacca and others, and experience a good and rapid success; tuberculin, however, syphilinum, hepar sulphuris, sepia, and similar constitutional remedies will be mostly indispensable, because the connections between the cancer disease and the constitutional basic disposition must be loosened. To put these constitutional bases in motion, and to pave the way for the working of Nature’s remedies, those toxins will be necessary in strong dilutions which go back, as it were, to earlier times, and which examine, if necessary, the organism right down to an inherited or inoculated disposition to the disease.

But there is still another special support given to homeopathic therapeutics in cases of cancer, about which I have still a few words to say, viz., the one coming from isopathy. Some have already tried to create a preventive influence on the further growth of tumors with the cancerous mass itself; and in the same way a proceeding has come up by which one seeks to act favorably on cancer patients with blood, saliva, and other secretions, and even in homeopathic preparations (Collet). To Burnett also we owe the remedies of scirrhin and carcinosin, as used in high potencies. lt is but during the last decades that more systematic experiments have been made on our side, viz., by A. Nebel, who gained separate results for carcinomata and sarcomata. Nebel proceeded from the viewpoint that cancer was an infectious disease with a very widely prevalent living virus, but which only sticks and grows where there is a constitutional predisposition, whether this be a predisposition in the sense in which Freund and Kaminer take it, namely, that abnormal acids in the intestines and the tissues deprive us of our natural protection, or in the sense of the tarrings, the continuous connection with carbohydrates, which finally make too great a demand on the protective forces. Such unfavorable constitutional conditions must first exist, therefore the ground must be prepared. Now a biological viewpoint makes similar claims for all infectious diseases, except such cases where the microbes are inoculated straight into the blood. Then of course practically everybody is liable to infection. Now it is pretty much the same whether we take a living virus for granted in the case of carcinoma, or not. In any case it is the question of alien elements of irritation that operate as poisons, chemically or physiologically, whether they proceed from microbes or from some other definable matter. In many cases carcinoma has given rise to the suspicion that it is contagious. Infectionists and non-infectionists could easily agree on a conditional infection, if one were to discover that a bacterial cause does exist after all. Our highly esteemed colleague, Nebel, has identified and accepted the Micrococcus doyen as the infective cause of cancer. He says that the morbific agent exists in greatly diverse forms, and that it has been seen by many observers, but that the very diversity in the forms has deceived earlier observers. Nebel has now made an isopathic compound of the carcinomatous tumors, and given it the name of “onkolysin.” If we use any sort of serum of an infectious disease for healing purposes, as an isopathical remedy, we shall always find in it two opposite substances, viz., the expression of the poison as toxin, and the representative of the counteraction of the organism, the antitoxin. If one were to operate alone with the former, it would have the effect of the pure morbific agent, just as it is the case with, the homeopathic remedy. If, on the contrary, one were to start by giving the antitoxin, one would be proceeding analogously to the serum of diphtheria and providing the diseased organism with the ready counter-poison, which it really ought to create itself, biologically. Both ways are open to cancer therapeutics, and as far as I know, Nebel is occupied with working out the antitoxin too as a serum. At present we have in onkolysin a toxin which is as pure as it can possibly be made, and which can be given and injected as a homeopathic preparation. And so one rightly says of this remedy that it is isopathic, and yet, as a toxin, at the same time may be considered a homeopathic one. In any case, a preparation very closely connected with the cancer process! Nebel is conscious of mobilizing thereby the cancer toxins in the diseased organism, and he is therefore intent on assisting by so-called canalizators, means of secretion, as he considers it, the separating process, of rendering it harmless; many vegetable medicines are here in place, as, for example, chelidonium, hydrastis, phytolacca. lt is not possible, in my opinion, theoretically to differentiate completely between the function of canalization and that of mobilization, for those vegetable medicines are also in themselves effective remedies against cancer, which in some cases may alone fulfill most requirements. But anyhow, it is a most important point of view that we are not to give onkolysin, as it is such a very active principle in the carcinoma, without having first provided for its reception by raising the vital activities. But as it is with onkolysin, so it is with other radical remedies too, which we may choose according to the exact indications in the sense of Kent. The organism will soon prove whether it is capable of overcoming the shock; else we may not hesitate to help on the process with, say, belladonna, china, ferrum, and other medicines in less high potencies.

I shall only say here that a whole number of colleagues in homeopathy have achieved really good successes with onkolysin. Let us subject this substance to further experiments, as a valuable part of homeopathic treatment, and do not let us forget that our colleague Nebel keeps his eyes open also for the old and well-tried remedies, and that he has frequently given indications for them in the case of cancer.

lt is an agreeable duty to me to make mention in this place of another closely related method of therapeutics for cancer, which has also come up during the last twenty years, and which has a similar isopathic foundation. On the strength of all the author’s publications, and through many German and foreign doctors, as well as through several experiences of my own, I have also great confidence in this method. I am thinking of the novantimeristem procedure of Dr. W. Schmidt, in Munich. The foundations of this procedure are very similar to ours, and even though that system of treatment did not start from properly homeopathic viewpoints, yet it is decidedly successful, and it is possible that, practically and theoretically, it will one day end in the sphere of Hahnemann’s work.

Now what do we experience in the homeopathic treatment of cancer, and where from do we take our justification for cherishing it ?

Gentlemen and colleagues, we do not, I am sorry to say, experience in all cases a cure, or even an improvement; many cases, however, become stationary, or there is an improvement, and sometimes even a genuine cure. Frequently we have to reckon with the opposition of influences that deprive us again of a success which has already set in. And, unhappily, the patients are seldom ready to help on the cure with a corresponding dietetic abstemiousness. I should wish to draw your attention to this point and incite you to observe and follow up the direction entered upon by Bulkley and others. But there will always be very few only that will be ready to go a way exactly opposite to their former habits of life. If we base our treatment exclusiveIy on the homeopathic and isopathic methods, we anyhow do not need to give up a certain dietetic approach to those strict prescriptions of the vegetarian doctrine of uncooked food; we shall usually also, which will have been a cause for anxiety, have to put the stools of the cancer patient in order. And by a homeopathic choice of medicines in the sense I mentioned and characterized before, we shall in the most cases achieve an alleviation of all the complaints. In the case of carcinomata that have been taken to be such, we sometimes, although seldom, see them form abscesses very quickly and become completely cured. In this way I have four times seen mammary cancerous tumors change into abscesses. Other tumors again diminish in size together with the metastases that may occur, and continue for a long time to exist in a rudimentary form without vanishing completely; others again which were quite in their initial stage, but were all ready to be operated on, vanish without leaving a trace. They return perhaps later again, and vanish a second time, so that one can observe the fight of life with the disease and measure the value of medical aid. In some cases we do not achieve anything, and often not without the fault of the patient; frequently all the efforts made on both sides are in vain. Bad enough that it is so!

But if we consider the successes of a surgical treatment, to which short-sighted people so easily take recourse, we realize that our patients are better off: they suffer less, they live Ionger, and they retain their organism in an undestroyed connection that often leads, even after long and vain efforts, to a turn for the better in their state of health. That the cancer patients who have not been operated on live longer is a fact that our colleague in homeopathy, Dr. Aebly, has proved in a statistical inquiry, undertaken on behalf of the Swiss life insurance companies. And besides, nobody prevents us from having those cases of carcinoma that prove to be chronic, treated surgically. We are not neglecting anything if we first treat the patient internally. Apart from the fact that there are cases which are inoperable by the time they come to us, there is no need of such a great hurry, as experience has shown that sometimes just the cancers that have been operated on very early, where the tumors had the size of a pea to a cherry, produced the most rapid and virulent recurrences and led within two or three months to the death of the patient. Reasons have also been found for this state of affairs: the adaptability and the powers of counteraction of the organism were still too immature; the texture round the little cancer had not yet accumulated any protective matter, which otherwise only permits of a slow growth. All these circumstances, taken from the sphere of our experience, justify us in keeping to our own method. We leave other kinds of curative experiments to those who find their satisfaction in so doing, and we seek to develop and raise our own therapeutics. We confess that this is still very necessary; and this realization is very salutary for us. lt also promotes a feeling of brotherliness towards other schools of thought. To our own comfort we may be convinced of the scientific dignity and the practical value of our homeopathic conception, but with pleasure we place ourselves in one and the same row with the representatives of other methods in therapeutics that think differently. And with such sentiments we have a right to defend our own position.

Now if we finally put the question, how the propagation of the homeopathic idea in regard to the treatment of the cancer disease can be furthered, there is this to be said: a gospel must be preached. In this hospitable and broadminded country of yours, you have had a number of excellent cancer doctors, and happily you still have such. Let me mention the names in all respect: Dr. John Henry Clarke, who has done such an extraordinary amount of work for homeopathic literature, and Dr. George Burford, who alongside with his practice has instituted a special system of propaganda through the instruction of the public and of the nursing staffs, a system we might take as a model. Such work is just that sort of sermon that ought to penetrate from us to the ears of suffering humanity. Dr. Burford has also expressed the idea that homeopathy possesses the key to the cancer problem; we may perhaps maintain that the door is already open through which humanity shall find one form of salvation, so to speak. With the scientific and the practical development of our therapeutics, the old bolts of prejudice will one day have to give way.

We all, however, can observe that another and different quality from the purely scientific one is necessary, if we are to stand up for our homeopathic method of treating cancer. A generation that has already almost passed was conspicuous for this quality. I repeat the names of Pattison, Cooper, and Burnett, and I extol the courage of conviction as a tremendous power in the progress of medical science.

Presented by Katja Schütt, Hpathy.

About the author

Emil Schlegel

Emil Schlegel

Emil Schlegel 1852-1934

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