Chapter 13: Epithelioma

This form of cancer is generally found on the face, nose and lip.


This is one of the most common forms of cancer. There is one variety, not mentioned in the text-books, that I have named Fibrous Cancer. It usually appears on the lip and nose. When you find a case of cancer that has been the rounds, has been cut out or burnt out with caustic and returned you may rest assured that it is this form of cancer. It is apt to spread out its fibers in the surrounding tissue and is therefore the hardest to cure.


It generally begins with a crack in the lip, that does not heal by the use of ordinary remedies. Sometimes it appears as a scab on the lip, that feels at times as if a fly was crawling over it. Then, again, you may feel a bunch imbedded in the lip between your thumb and finger. It may appear as a wart on the lip that has a pain in it: like the prick of a needle. In some cases where caustic has been repeatedly used on the lip, or it has been cut out, you will find swelling of the glands under the jaw. I have never seen a case of cancer caused by tobacco, but the pressure of the pipe stem on the lip will often cause an irritation there and thus produce cancer or the cut from a razor will do the same thing now and then.


If the cancer is confined to the lip and has not invaded the mouth and the glands under the jaw are not very much affected, I would consider the case curable. About twenty-five years ago, I saw a case of cancer of the lip in Ocean County, New Jersey, in a man seventy-five years of age — a farmer. The whole of the lower lip was eaten away by the cancer. The glands under the jaw were swollen out even with the jaw. My opinion was asked about the case. I told the family that “he was past cure”. They were exceedingly anxious that I should do something for the old gentleman. I gave him the “Comp. Syr. Phytolacca,” teaspoonful after each meal, but did not think he would live three months. He kept on taking the above syrup for two years before the disease finally conquered him. Another case I saw in New York state in consultation with a very fine physician. This patient was about eighty years old and had been a strict vegetarian for twenty years. He had about the largest cancer on the lip that I ever saw. It involved the whole of the lip, and stuck out about two inches from the lip. He was a “crank on taking medicine” and refused to take any treatment for it. I was later informed by the doctor that he had died from the disease.

In 1884 I treated a gentleman in this state for cancer of the upper and lower lip. I applied Paste No. 1 for forty-eight hours, took it off and poulticed with the “Poultice Powder” once in two hours until the growth came out on the poultice. I then healed it with the “Yellow Healing Salve.” I gave him, internally, the “Comp. Syr. Phytolacca” teaspoonful after each meal, and five grains of quinine before each meal. He has never had any symptoms of the disease since the time that I treated him.

Twenty years ago I treated a man from Kent County, Delaware, for a cancer on his lower lip that had been burnt out with caustic at two different times. It was a fibrous cancer. I gave him the “Comp. Syr. Phytolacca” teaspoonful after each meal and applied Paste No. 1 for forty-eight hours. The cancer was removed with the “Poultice Powder” after it was used for five days. The sore was healed by means of the “Yellow Healing Salve.” The cancer has not returned since it was treated.

In old men, that drool a good deal, you will be bothered with the saliva. Dry the lip with your absorbent cotton and then, after applying the paste cover it with the absorbent cotton. You must be careful not to get the paste too thin so it will get into the mouth. After it has been on a half hour or an hour it will grow harder so it cannot come off very easily. It will require some patience to treat such cases. Have them remain in your once a while to see if the plaster remains in the place that you want it. Place adhesive strips on the healthy flesh under the lip to protect it from the action of the paste. In these fibrous cancers of the lip be sure that your paste goes deep enough to kill all of the diseased growth. There is more danger that you will take it off too soon than that you will leave it on too long. As a rule the paste will only act as far as the diseased mass has gone. When the lymphatic glands under the jaw first begin to swell apply the “Poultice Powder” moistened with warm water once in two hours until you get the swelling down. In long standing cases use pulverized phytolacca root (fresh); moisten it once a day with Fl. Ext. Phytolacca (green root). Change the poultice three times a day. If the glands are very hard I use Solution Iodo Bromide Calcium (Tilden & Co.) 3ii. in aqua 3vi. Mix and apply on lint to the glands three times a day. Do not forget this remedy in hard bunches in the axilla and neck. In old men you should always remember that they need a good tonic to raise their nerve power and sulph. strychnine, 1-30 gr. before each meal and at bedtime, is the remedy. Old people or those past middle age will do well on “Comp. Syr. Phytolacca,” teaspoonful after each meal. After the cancer is removed and the sore healed up the new flesh will be very sensitive to the cold air. It will look red and may feel rough. Apply equal parts of distilled witch hazel and warm water to the part several times a day. This will harden the skin, allay the irritation and smooth down the roughness. A little care in this respect will save you some trouble later for oftentimes the patient will tell you that they feel queer sensations in the lip; it is the action of the air upon the new skin.

When I first began the practice of medicine, while going the rounds visiting patients one day I met a farmer on the road. He was too poor to undertake any medical treatment hut he called my attention to a little bunch on his lip about as big as a wild cherry and wished my advice about it. I told him to get some fresh birch leaves (the trees grew near his house) and chew the leaves and rub the juice of the leaves on that bunch, Some time after that when I met him again he informed me that the lump had disappear d. The materia medica of the vegetable kingdom is rich in remedies that do have a curative effect upon cancer.

The old Botanic physicians made some brilliant cures of cancer with their simple vegetable remedies. They have left behind them a record of many cures. Some of the best cures I have ever made of cancer were by the use of the simple vegetable remedies. The better the reader understands the medicinal properties of these same vegetable remedies the more successful will he be in the treatment of cancer.

The homeopathic and biochemical materia medica are also rich in curative remedies for cancer. Any Eclectic or Homeopathic physician who says that cancer cannot be cured by medicine had better re-study his materia medica and get “more light “. To make such a statement as that is going contrary to the teaching of Dr. Wooster Beach and Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, the two greatest and most brilliant medical reformers in the world’s history. It is casting a reflection on the School of Medicine that you represent.

In the commencement of my practice I have cured a few cases of simple cancer of the lip with the soft extract of Phytolacca root applied locally to the cancer until it killed it and it dropped out. I also used a paste composed of Solid Ext. Phytolacca (root) Sanguinaria (root) and Red Clover Flowers, equal parts, applied on soft cloth to the cancer. I have used inspissated juice of sheep sorrel as a local application. The above are quite painful and do not go deep enough. They only half cure the most superficial skin cancers. I have tested acetic acid, alcohol, solution chloride zinc, caustic potash, double chloride gold and sodium solution, chromic acid and many other remedies injected into or near the diseased growth, but have long since laid them on the shelf for a better plan of treatment. I have paid five and ten dollars a bottle for remedies claimed to cure cancer, but they proved worthless as far as any curative action upon cancer was concerned. I have had letters from a dozen different physicians in this country who claim to cure cancer, who wanted to come and study with me and learn how to cure cancer. These men find out when they meet a real case of genuine cancer that their pastes or injection drops will not cure it and they cannot touch a case of internal cancer.

Treating cancer, in all its forms, is a man’s work, for it requires the most skillful treatment of any disease that we have and no man should undertake to do this special work unless he prepares himself for it with the same degree of care that is used for any other of the specialties, as for instance, surgery, eye and ear or gynecology. There are many doctors who have made a failure in the treatment of cancer who started out with the idea that they could cure all farms of cancer with an escharotic or some kind of injection dope, that they had copied out of a book or bought from some man. Such men have done much to make the profession and the public lose faith in the cure of cancer by medicinal treatment. It is high time that the educated, intelligent doctors of our country should take up this work and by study and a course of preparation qualify themselves to treat this disease intelligently, rationally and successfully and in this manner get the business out of the hands of men who have not made good.

Women sometimes have cancer of the lip. In my practice I have met with several such cases. One case was a lady who had cancer on her lower lip and side of the tongue. I applied Paste No. 1 to the cancer on the lips for twenty-four hours, removed it and put on another for the same period; it was then taken off and the cancer poulticed with the “Poultice Powder” once in two hours until it came off on the poultice. I next applied the “Yellow Healing Salve” three times a day until it was healed. For treatment of the cancer on the side of the tongue (see Cancer of Tongue) I gave her sulph. strychnine 1-30 gr. before each meal and at bedtime; also Comp. Syr. Phytolacca teaspoonful after each meal. This treatment was followed until I felt sure that I had conquered the disease.

A case of cancer of the lip came under my care that had been cut out and returned. The patient was sixty years old. General health quite good. I gave him sulph. strychnine 1-30 gr. before each meal and at bedtime and applied as a local treatment Paste No. 3 (see Local Treatment of Cancer) for twenty-four hours, then removed it and applied another one; this was done for three days when it was taken off and the “Poultice Powder” was applied until the cancer came out on the poultice. The “Yellow Healing Salve” was used on soft white cloth three times a day until the sore was healed. As this case was treated in 1886 and there has been no reappearance of the growth we are justified in stating it was cured.

In 1885 I treated a man for cancer of the lip that had been ten years coming. I used Paste No. 1 and gave him “Comp. Syr. Phytolacca”, teaspoonful after each meal and five grains sulph. quinine three times a day. There has been no sign of the growth since that time, hence we may safely conclude that it will not return.

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