This section is from the "Nature Cure: Philosophy and Practice Based on the Unity of Disease and Cure" book, by Henry Lindlahr.
The following utterances of the late Dr. Nicholas Senin strongly confirm our claims as to the nature and cure of disease. Coming from the lips of a celebrated surgeon and physician, these statements should carry some weight with those who, being unable to reason for themselves, worship at the feet of "authority." The quotations referred to are taken from the report of an interview granted by the doctor to Chicago newspaper representatives on his return from his trip around the world.
[Chicago American, August 5th, 1906.]
Germs Planted By Tight Lacing, Over-Feeding and Over-Dressing Given as Causes of Cancer
"Dr. Nicholas Senn brought back from Africa, from whence he returned to Chicago yesterday, confirmations of his belief that cancer is a 'civilized' disease.
"Dr. Senn spent from $2,000 to $3,000 worth of time--at the cash value per hour of his time on his first day at home for four months, telling a half dozen newspaper men more than all the world, except himself and a score of specialists like him, know about the fearful disease. He summed up his own learning in the statement that the disease is still incurable except by the knife in its incipient stages and that the best preventive is clean, plain living.
"His investigations of the natives of Africa served to strengthen his conviction that cancer is a product of civilization, 'like apoplexy and scores of other exotic ailments,' Dr. Senn said. He could not find or hear of a case of cancer among the 'Hamites,' as he termed them. And from the fact that he found the disease, to be an unknown one to the Esquimaux of Greenland, he is assured that climate has nothing whatever to do with it. Climate did not cause it, and climate will not cure it.
Cancer Caused by Over-Living
"'The nearer the human race approaches the animals in habits and particularly in the matter of diet and dress, the freer it is from cancer,' he said. 'Cancer comes from over-feeding and over-living.
"'Drinking, gourmandizing, unnatural habits of women, like lacing, all those things help to plant the seeds of cancer in the child.
"'And as we have not learned to cure it the best thing to do is to prevent it when we can. If children were brought up in simplicity by natural mothers; then, if care should be taken to prevent hypernutrition, there would be much less danger from cancer. Cancer itself is an over-fed thing--tissue that never matures, for if I could mature the cells I could cure the disease. The thing for people to do who fear they may have inherited it, is to live simply--there are many cases among people with a tendency to obesity to one among those of a scanty habit of living--and particularly to remove all sources of irritation, like bad teeth, tobacco, and clothes that chafe.'
Studies African Race
"Besides his hobby, as he calls it, Dr. Senn studied the African generally in his voyage along the East Coast of that continent.
"'It was a fine trip,' he said, 'with so many things to learn. Ethnologically I am certain Africans are of common stock. The negro is a negro wherever you find him. From Kaffir to Bushman and pygmy they are all Hamites.
"'They are mostly a fine people physically, lean and tall, except the dwarfs. There is little tendency toward obesity; they have no apoplexy, no distended veins as we have in civilization. Hence their freedom from cancer. They live naturally, and are vegetarians mostly, while the Northern Esquimaux are meat-eaters, but both races eat naturally to sustain life, hence their immunity from that disease. It is where eating is made an art that cancer is most prevalent.
"'They are free from many other diseases that pester us also. Tuberculosis is hardly known, and only along the coast, where it has been taken by the whites. The real curse of the coast country is malaria. It is bad all up and down the East shore. I kept away from it myself by taking five grains of quinine and the juice of a lemon once a day on an empty stomach. That is a good remedy for malaria, for in all my running around I have never had it.
(Editor's Note.--Dr. Senn died January 2, 1908. The papers stated after his death, that the doctor had never been well since the return from his long voyage, that his heart and nervous system had been seriously affected by the altitudes of the Andes and of other mountains. We wonder whether the "high altitudes" or the "five grains of quinine daily" were to blame for the celebrated physician's heart disease and death.)