Scirrhus is a hard, unequal tumor, which occasionally appears in different viscera, such as the liver and womb, but more fre-quently in the grandular parts, for instance, the breasts, arm-pits, and about the neck. It mostly arises in consequence of inflammmation, though it may also occur spontaneously, in persons of a heavy, phlegmatic, or scrophulous habit. - A scirrhus may likewise be gradually induced by passions, especially e of a depressing nature; by gross food; the abuse of acids; nal violence ; sudden cold ; suppres- -uations, and various other causes
The degree of danger, attending scirrhous indurations, varies according to the nature of the diseased part, and stage of the disorder ; •h an internal tumor is al-ways more dangerous and difficult to be removed, than one situated externally ; as the former may be productive of great injury to the animal frame, by compressing the adjacent parts, whence palsy, colic, etc. are the concomitant evils, long, however, as the swelling remains in an indolent state, no immediate danger need be appreh ed; but, when it once becomes painful, or ulcerated, there will be just reason to fear that it may change into a Cancer.
Treatment : - If the patient be in other respects healthy, and the tumor but recently formed, its dision may be effected by the internal use of resolvents ; for instance, the mildest preparations of mercury (calomel), and antimonial wine, with the decoction of the woods : externally the warm gums, in piasters, such as sagapenum and ammoniac ; or the volatile liniment, or even a solution of sal-ammoniac in vinegar, have often been productive of good effects ; but, if the patient be advanced in years, or the swelling painful, great caution becomes necessary ; lest, by any improper application, the disorder assume a cancerous taint. Various other more potent remedies, such the hemlock and fox-glove, have been strongly recommended, with view to effect, a resolution ; but they have in numerous instances failed of succcss. In desperate cases, therefore. nes proves fruitless, the tumor must be timely extirpated by the knife, provided that the situation of the parts admit of an operation, and a free discharge. But, if neither of these obje6ts can be attained, it will be advisable to promote the formation of an abscess the only means of removing the complaint.
If the liver be thus diseased, it may be ascertained by the foil ing symptoms: tumor and hard-ness on the right side about the short ribs ; pain, particularly when lying on the opposite side ; email of the upper parts, dropsical swelling of the lower ex tremities. In this case, the bowels should be regularly opened by mildest laxatives; while the pati-ent's diet ought to be bland and nourishing. The nitric acid, in the proportion of one dram per day, diluted with three or tour pints of water, with the addition of some syrup of marsh-mallows, to be used as the common beverhas lately been prescribed with great advantage; but which we have not had sufficient experience. Hence we would the preference to the acelated kali, or regenerated tartar of the shops, to be taken in doses of 2 or 3 drams per day, dissolved in water ; being a medicine from which the greatest benefit has often been derived.
With respect to the analysis of a new remedy against scirrhus and cancer (mentioned in vol. i. p.428), we understand, that though the ad-ministration of this pretended specific was, in several cases, apparently attended with good effects, yet there is no attested instance, in which it has completed a cure : on the contrary, the patients who credulously resorted to this professional empiric, are said to have uniformly been disappointed in their expectations, so that we may save ourselves the trouble of analyzing a nostrum which its supposed inventor (though he has offered to submit it to the test of chemical inquiry), carefully carries about in his pocket, and administers to the pat ent in his presence.