Another example that graphically illustrates the current use of the term cure is that of the search for a cure for cancer. At this writing it is being freely and frequently predicted, both in this country and in Europe, that a cure for cancer will be found within two years. Similar predictions have been made at various times during the last 45 years, but have always failed of realization. The researchers who are seeking a cure for cancer are not studying cancer from the standpoint of cause and effect and it is not predicted that the cause of cancer will be found within the next two years. A cure is sought that will restore health without the necessity of removing or correcting cause.

Among those who are seeking for a cure for cancer is a large body of researchers who expect to find the cure in chemotherapy (drugs). It is hoped to discover a cytotoxic drug that will destroy the cancerous growth without destroying normal tissue. All drugs are cytotoxic, which means that they are toxic to cells; but certain drugs have been set aside especially for this classification. It should be noted in this respect that surgery, x-ray and radium have all three been employed to destroy cancerous cells and that the destruction of such cells has failed to remedy cancer. Cytotoxic drugs suffer the same limiting factor as does radiation therapy in their inherent capacity for causing serious injury to normal as well as to malignant cells. Also, like radiation, cytotoxic chemicals do not remove the cause of cancer.

With all the boasting about the progress they are making in their cancer research, physicians and their allies in the research laboratories have disappointed the world. They have spent much money; they have devoted a great amount of time; they have sacrificed numerous animals and humans; but cancer is steadily increasing in incidence, while the cancer death rate continues to rise. That something more than the poisoning of cancer cells is needed to solve the cancer problem becomes evident when it is noted that cancer of the lungs is increasing, both among dogs and among the animals in the zoological gardens of our larger cities. This strongly indicates that there is something radically wrong in the modern civilized environment of both man and domestic animals which tends to the development of malignancies and which must be corrected or removed before human health can be markedly improved. To seek to cure the effects of such a widespread environmental evil by poisoning cancer cells is an absurd practice.

World-wide and for a long time intensive research has been carried on in the effort to find cures for everything from colds to cancer. What good has all of this research done? It should have convinced the discerning that scientists and physicians cannot find the cure for disease. The consistent failure of all the much-vaunted cures, from Hippocrates to the present, should convince the intelligent person that there are no cures--that curing disease is a delusion. Healing techniques are biologic; healing arts are mythologic. Let us leave the efforts to cure disease to the practitioners of the voodoo arts and get down to a serious study of causes and effects.

The foregoing three examples will suffice to illustrate the meaning of the term cure as it is used today. The attempt to restore health in the sick without removing the causes of disease is what is meant by cure. To cure is to give a drug or to perform a rite-mechanical, chemical, surgical or psychological-that will, it is hoped, restore health in spite of the continued operation of the cause of the sickness. The search for cures, which is continuous, is a search for means of restoring the sick to health by the application or administration of something without the necessity of removing the causes that have produced and are maintaining the impairment of health. It is like trying to sober up a drunk man while he continues to drink.

Strange, indeed, almost shocking when first heard, was the Hygienic postulate that "nature has not provided remedies for disease." All the schools of healing had taught the absurd doctrine that God or nature had provided a remedy or a cure for every disease, if only it could be found. So long had this doctrine been taught that the Hygienic postulate became an obstacle to many when they first began a study of Hygiene. Hygienists, holding that disease is the consequence of violated law, asserted that nature has made no provision for misconduct, except in the consequent pain and misery to force the cessation of the misconduct. Nature, they said, has not provided remedies to cure you of the poisons or impurities that you may take into your body. You simply have to take the consequences and battle it out yourself.

Lecturing before his classes in the Hygeo-Therapeutic College, Trall said: "We can conceive of nothing more absurd," than the "doctrine that nature or Providence has provided some remedy for every disease," which "has been believed for ages." Holding that diseases are consequences of violations of the laws of being, it was logically thought absurd to think that nature has provided consequences and then provided remedies to do away with the consequences. This, said Trall, "would be such a self-stultification, as no human legislation has ever been guilty of." Can any person or any remedy "interpose between cause and effect? . . . Can he or it prevent consequences when cause is applied?" Does nature bribe us to violate her laws by promises of absolution?

The absurdity of the old and prevailing idea may be seen if we observe the action of sticking our finger into a fire. We are burned by this very act, not because of it, but by it. The consequence is inherent in the act. We are burned, not later, but the very instant we stick our finger in the fire. There is no time lapse between the act and the consequence. The consequence is concurrent with the act. To put this into a sentence, the consequence is inherent in and concurrent with the action. There is neither time nor space to interpose between cause and effect.

Applying this same principle to the use of the materials of Hygiene, Trall wrote: "Normal or Hygienic agencies may be used constructively--to sustain the vital structures, or remedially to remove the causes of disease. But their remedial employment belongs to the suggestion of instinct or reason.

"If nature had provided calomel, antimony, strychnine, alcohol, ipecac, jalap, cod-liver oil, and two thousand other drugs, or even air, water, exercise, etc., as remedies to obviate the consequences of our intemperance, gluttony and other disease-producing habits, she should, to be consistent, have also provided remedies for broken bones, dislocated joints, spinal curvatures, warts, cancers, contusions, lacerations, burns, scalds and, indeed, 'all the ills that flesh is heir to.' But no one pretends that surgical remedies are provided by nature, or are to be found anywhere except in human ingenuity."