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:
1) Fear-they are fearful in this phase, about their ability to make their way in the world. If they can’t make a change, everything seems to be threatening which pushes them to the next phase of the cycle in order to survive.
2) Let themselves be taken care of – When they can’t find a way themselves, they develop this attitude,” let others take care of me”. This mostly occurs in childhood. In this phase they are ameliorated at seaside, desire eggs, fruit, sweets, sugar, i.e. they want comfort oriented things.
3) Inwardness – When others are taking care of them, they are totally dependent on them and lose their sense of self. They feel lost and become quiet and introverted. Symptoms like abdominal pain and genu-pectoral position during sleep can be observed.
4) Resentment – As they can’t tolerate anymore, they become resentful and quarrelsome. In this phase they are aggravated at seaside; eggs, fruits, sweets, milk, etc. now aggravate them.
5) Frenetic breakout -they breakout finally, becomes sexually intense, disposition to masturbate, cheerful, loves dancing, enjoys thunderstorm.
6) Breakdown – At the end they are weak & sad, they may develop mouth ulcers, schizophrenia, effects of cancer can be found here, too weak to talk to walk, sexual desire diminished.
So, this cycle can give a conceptual answer to the contrasting features of Carcinosin.
Regarding its indication in a case of cancer, Dr. Foubister states that, the farther a case is from actual cancer, the closer it is to Carcinosin. This nosode has a lot of potential and many more virtues may yet be discovered by extensive provings and clinical verification. Carcinosin is gaining importance every day in the armamentarium of an increasing number of homoeopaths.
1) Cooper, Dorothy j., The British homoeopathic journal,” The nosode carcinosin”, Nov 1982, vol 71, no’1.
2) Foubister, D.M,”the British homoeopathic journal”,” The carcinosin with special reference to paediatrics”, nov, 1982.
3) Foubister, D.M., & Hoa, J. hui bon,”The carcinosin drug picture”, B.Jain publishers, Delhi, India
4) Gruber, frank, W, MD,”The new England journal of homoeopathy”,” The cycle of homoeopathy”, fall 1996, vol-5, no’-4
5) Khan, L.M, Dr.,”National journal of homoeopathy”,” Love affair with carcinosin at bedside”.may-june-2004, vol-4, no’-3
6) Shore, jonathan, M.D, Journal of American institute of homoeopathy”, Carcinosin-an overview with case studies”, 1989, vol-82, no-4.
7) Singh mahendra & Singh subhash, A collection on carcinosin”, B.Jain publishers, Delhi, India
8) Templeton, lees,” The British homoeopathic journal”,” A report on proving of carcinosin”, April 1954, vol-43.