This section of the book is from "The Complete Herbalist" by Dr. O. Phelps Brown. Also available from Amazon: The Complete Herbalist: The People Their Own Physicians By The Use Of Nature's Remedies.
This is a malignant tumor. In the first stage it is hard, in the second stage it ulcerates. The seat of cancer is in the female breast, the skin, the tongue, the stomach, the womb, the lips, etc. It rarely occurs in subjects under thirty years of age. It is at first a small hard tumor, movable, but eventually it forms deep and superficial attachments. It grows in general slowly, is irregular in shape, and painful. The pain is mostly sharp, lancinating, and is much increased on pressure. In the course of time the tissue beneath the skin is absorbed, and becomes attached to it, and it presents a bluish, nodulated appearance. Ulceration usually takes place by absorption of the skin, and as sloughing proceeds, the edges become ragged and everted, hving a bluish purple color, and discharges a fetid, sanious pus.
There are five varieties of cancer, though microscopically they are essentially the same.
Scirrhus is hard, firm, and transparent, and of a grayish color, occurring most frequently in the female breast, skin, etc.
Encephaloid is soft and brainlike in its appearance, and hemorrhagic in character, frequently met with in the globe of the eye, testes, nares, etc.
Colloid resembles glue or honey in the comb, and usually occurs in the internal viscera.
Melanosis, or melanotic cancer, is of a black color, either soft or hard, and occurs mostly upon serious membranes.
Epithelial cancer is usually found upon the lips.
These various forms may exist separately, or one variety may be associated with or take the place of another.
TREATMENT. -- As long as this disease was regarded as purely local in character, the only treatment resorted to was extirpation either by cauterizing agents or by the knife; but since the pathology of the disease is better understood, and its constitutional character ascertained, the treatment employed has been considerably modified. I have long ago held that cancer was a constitutional affection, so instructed my patients, and based my treatment upon that opinion.
It is well to remove the tumor by the knife or cautery, but the liability to recurrence is always great unless constitutional treatment is employed. The cauterizing agents are blood-root and chloride of zinc made into a paste, and then applied to the cancer, the skin having first been removed by a blister. This is reapplied until the whole mass is dead, when in course of time it comes away as a slough. The expressed juices of poke, laurel, blood-root, and yellow-dock answer the same purpose.
The constitutional treatment consists in toning up the general system, abstaining from fatty diet, bathing, and the employment of alterative treatment. Recently, a plant has been brought into notice by the name of Cundurango (Equatoria Garciana, see page 74) which is destined to revolutionize the treatment ot cancer. I have tried it in several cases, and it answered every expectation. I regard it as a virtual specific in cancer, and shall, notwithstanding its very high price, employ it in every case, thereby hoping to make my success in the treatment of this malignant disease more certain. It is a matter of regret that spurious articles are in the market, thus bringing the genuine article, which is yet difficult to obtain, into disrepute.