Carcinosinum is prepared from cancerous breast tissue. It represents the very centre of the cancer miasm (which falls between the miasms sycosis and syphilis). The main feeling amongst remedies and persons of the cancer miasm is that one’s survival depends upon performing tasks which one feels incapable of performing. There is a need to be something that is almost beyond one’s capacity. The patients stretch themselves to the utmost in the hope of success, because to them failure means death and destruction. This miasm therefore has the sycotic fixity as well as the destructive dimension of syphilis.
Carcinosinum people often have a history of taking on too much at a young age, having too many expectations placed on them and too strict parental control. They try to live up to these expectations and make a tremendous effort to perform exceedingly well. They set for themselves high standards or goals that are near impossible to achieve and drive themselves to try and accomplish them. In that sense, they reach out for perfection, and almost finish themselves in doing so. The cancer miasm has this theme of superhuman effort in order to survive. The need for control over oneself and over one’s surroundings is tremendous, as is the need to keep order in the midst of chaos. The disease cancer itself represents a breakdown of all control mechanisms within the body, with chaotic behaviour of the cells. The feeling of a cancer miasm person is like that of a physician who is trying to bring order and control over the disease cancer. He knows that it is a very difficult job with very little chance of success. Yet, he has to try with some hope of success. The cancer patient runs from pillar to post seeking relief, and when all fails, gives up with the absolute despair, characteristic of the syphilitic miasm. It is a continuous and prolonged struggle which seems to have no end.
The need for perfection makes Carcinosinum people sensitive to reprimands, and fastidious in every sphere of life to the point of being faultless. But unlike mineral remedies, which merely want order in everything that they do, Carcinosinum patients often show an interest towards artistic things like music, dancing and painting. They are sensitive to and enjoy beautiful scenery, seashore, thunderstorms and lightning. They show the sensitivity of a plant as well in that, like Pulsatilla and Ignatia, they are sensitive to reprimands and are offended easily. They can also be sympathetic, very warm and humane, like Phosphorus, but they are all the time striving for perfection – to be the perfect partner, the perfect one for the job, the perfect parent, etc., so they are often ideal for others. Out of this need to be perfect arises an anticipatory anxiety. If they organize a party, it is not enough that the party should get going, rather that everything should be perfect. Neatness and cleanliness simply are not good enough for them, they must be perfect; the furniture should blend with the surroundings, everything should match, etc. They are well dressed people with good taste.
Carcinosinum children are well-mannered and well-behaved. They can become neurotic about perfection, and sometimes this can be so extreme that they become suicidal. There is also a tendency to suppression, like in Ignatia. They accept their disappointments and also their domination with a kind of resignation, and tend to accumulate all the grief within, without expressing their sensitivity. They have a tremendous anxiety about health, and a great fear of disease, especially cancer.
Carcinosinum patients show a variety of cravings, for example for eggs, fat, milk, but they especially crave for chocolate. They often lie on the abdomen during sleep, have a bluish tinge on their sclera, and also many moles on the skin. They are ameliorated at seashore, and by thunderstorms and lightning. A history of infectious diseases, e.g. tuberculosis, mumps, measles, chickenpox, malaria, typhoid, may be present and a history of cancer in the patient or in his immediate family could be an additional confirmation.
- Sensitive to reprimands.
- Offended easily, takes everything in bad part.
- Ailments from anticipation.
- Sympathy, compassion.
- Consolation, kind words aggravate.
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To read about the philosophical approach to developing these remedy pictures, see Dr. Sankaran’s introduction to Soul of Remedies: