Mr. Le Febure recommends, in case of cancerous ulcers in the womb, that injections should be frequently thrown up of a decoction of carrots and hemlock, having four grains of opium, and as much arsenic, dissolved in every pint. When in the bone or bones of a 1imb a cancer takes place, the amputation of that limb will be necessary.
The patient being seated conveniently with her head supported upon a pillow, by an assistant behind, and her arms held by one on each side, the surgeon makes . a horizontal incision, in the direction of the ribs, a little below the nipple; the assistants then draw the teguments as far asunder as possible, and press their fingers on the bleeding arteries, whilst the surgeon is dissecting the diseased mass from the skin above, and the pectoral muscle or parts below: alter which) the wound being carefully examined) every small indurated part is to be removed.
The haemorrhage by this time generally ceases; but if an artery still bleeds freely, it must be secured by means of the tenaculum and ligature, the ends of which are left a proper length out of the wound. The whole is then cleaned; and the parts and edges of the wound are laid in even and perfect contact, and retained so by two, three, or more sutures of the interrupted kind, according to the extent of the wound, and by the applications of slips of adhesive plaster, in the intermediate spaces, across the line of incision.
About the third or fourth day the serous discharge appears through the bandages, and the slips of plaster grow loose and require to be removed: the stitches in the teguments are then to be divided with a pair of scissors. The incision is afterwards dressed daily with small slips of lint, spread thin with a mild cerate made of the purest oil and wax. The ligatures by which the arteries arc secured, are gently drawn every day after the first inflammation is abated, and taken away in due time for the secondary union, or what is termed adhesive inflammation, to take place. The cure is greatly accelerated by repeatedly supporting the edges with a lew slips of adhesive plaster.
When the skin is ulcerated or diseased, a second incision is made in as straight a line as the inclusion of the diseased part will admit, down to the extremity of the first; and the edges are brought together in the same manner as in the first incision. The incision is to be made below the nipple, because the natural position of the part more readily assists the union, and the breast is less subject to deformity.
Thus the cure is generally completed in a fortnight or three weeks; nay, sometimes in as many days as weeks, where the suppurative process has been allowed to take place. A large, thick, soft compress made of linen, which has been in use, is to be applied after each mode of dressing; and a linen, or rather a flannel roller, about five inches broad, and six or eight yards long, bound gently tight over all. The arm on the affected side is to be supported in the bent position by a handkerchief tied round the neck. It has been a former custom to suffer the wound to remain long open, with a view to drain off the remaining virus; but this has been found tedious and useless.
We have omitted mentioning one remedy, which, if we recollect rightly, is recommended in the Memoirs of the Royal Society of Medicine at Paris; we mean lizards. This remedy was said to have been used in South America; and, though a particular species was mentioned, it was added that almost every other had a similar effect; and we find, in some authors, the lacerta agilis recommended for this purpose. The whole lizard tribe, dried and powdered, is recommended as sudorifics and alterants. The lizards, in cancers, were said to promote a considerable discharge of yellow, offensive sweat, which relieved the pain and diminished the tumour. We know of no species that is poisonous.
See Le Dran's Operations, Med. Mus. vol. i. p. 81, etc. and 338, etc. Lond. Med. Trans, vol. i. 75. Gooch's
Med. Obs. vol. iii. Hill on Cancers. Bell on Ulcers, edit. 3. p. 299. Justamond on Cancers. Bell's Surgery, ii. 434. Pearson's Principles of Surgery, vol. i. 209, See. and Practical Observations on Cancerous Complaints. White's Surgery, 52. Fearon on Cancers. Mosely on Tropical Diseases.
Cancer munditorum. Chimney sweeper's Cancer. See Scrotum.
Cancer ossis. See Spina ventosa.