Chapter 4: The Medical Treatment of Cancer
The Eclectic School of Medicine were the pioneers in America in the successful treatment of cancer. The early fathers of that school taught their students that cancer was a blood or constitutional disease and how it could be cured by medicine. If any of our modern Eclectics have any doubt on this subject I can refer them to Newton on “Diseases of the Breast”, Hill’s “Eclectic Surgery”, Buchanan’s “Surgery”, Jones and Sherwood’s “Practice”, also to Dr. Wm. Paine’s “Practice”. The father of the Eclectic School of Medicine, Dr. Wooster Beach, was a firm believer in the curability of cancer; see Beach’s “Surgery “. Up to the time of his death, Dr. Robert S. Newton of New York City had probably treated more cases of cancer of the breast than any man in this country. In Newton’s work on ” Diseases of the Female Breast ” he says, “In this way by the union of constitutional and local treatment, if the constitutional stamina is good, we shall often, nay if wc proceed judiciously, nearly always effect a cure. Nor is this cure temporary as can be demonstrated by cases now in this city I discharged ten or twelve years ago.”
Dr. Benjamin L. Hill in his Surgery, says, “The principle I shall present for your adoption has been already fully demonstrated, in the practice of many of our number, and the agents I shall recommend for carrying out that principle have been satisfactorily tried in hundreds of cases. The subjects of many of them are living in our midst to speak for themselves.” So much about what the fathers of Eclectic medicine taught about the cure of cancer by medicine.
Yet some of our weak-kneed Eclectics tell us “there is no cure for cancer “, thus going back on the teaching of the founders of that school and repeating parrot-like after the old school, “It cannot be cured” Shame on them! It was in an Eclectic College where I was taught how to cure cancer. I believed then that this disease could be cured and now after all these many years’ experience with thousands of cases of cancer my conviction has only grown stronger. All honor to the fathers of Eclectic Medication who taught us how to cure a disease that carries off so many of our people every year. In 1865, Dr. John Skelton, the father of the Eclectic School of Medicine in England published his work on “Practice.” He claimed that cancer was a constitutional disease and taught his students how to cure it by medicine.
The Homeopathic School of Medicine have furnished some able men who won their laurels in the medical treatment of cancer. Dr. Edwin M. Hale, one of the deepest thinkers, one of the most conservative students of materia medica and a man whom all men delight to honor, has left on record many valuable remedies in the cure of cancer. Dr. Richard Hughes, the intellectual giant of the homeopathic school in England has also contributed some useful remedies for cancer. In 1878 Dr. J. Compton Burnett, of London, England, gave to the profession in his book “Tumors of the Breast” a record of 132 cases permanently cured. What Dr. Burnett was doing in England, I began to do in this country. In 1869 I commenced to treat cancer by internal remedies.
These distinguished physicians that I have referred to on both sides of the Atlantic have done their work and it has been well performed. It now remains for us who follow them to take up the work they so nobly started and finish the task, remembering that “what man has done man may do.”