Chapter 15: Sarcoma
There are three forms of sarcoma; the round cells, the spindle cells and the third form originating in bone — the myeloid. In my own experience I have generally found cases of sarcoma rooted in the bone and caused by an injury. They always return after removal by surgical operation, and at the site of the former wound. Their growth is slow, at first, but afterward they enlarge with greater rapidity. They give but little pain and life is not threatened by them for a long time, unless they are injured by a blow or fall, or are cut out by the surgeon, The adjoining skin is not involved nor does it proceed to ulceration unless such solution of continuity is produced by tension and consequent difficulty of circulation. They are hard, lobulated and immovable; they do not infiltrate the tissue surrounding them. In some cases they retain the hardness and bony feeling; in other cases they seem full of broken down cancer cells and feel soft and spongy.
In June, 1886, I treated a case of osteo-sarcoma attached to the bone just above the nipple. The graph began two years before I saw the patient. It was about two inches in diameter and had begun to ulcerate. I prescribed internally sulph. strychnine one-thirtieth grain before each meal and at bedtime, also Comp. Syr. Phytolacca, one teaspoonful after each meal One of the following Liver Pills was given at bedtime to keep the bowels regular.
Podophyllin, Grs. v.
Leptandrin, Gra xx.
Ext. Nux Vomica, Grs. v.
Ext. Gentian, q. s.
Mix. Ft. Pills No. 20. Sig. One at bedtime.
In the medical treatment of cancer these pills will be found very useful to overcome the constipation that is always a complication of advanced cancer. To the growth I applied Paste No. 1 once in twenty-four hours for three days; removed it and began to poultice with the “Poultice Powder” once in two hours until the mass came off on the poultice. The “Yellow Healing Salve” was applied on soft white cloth, three times a day until it was all healed. This treatment produced a permanent cure as there has been no trouble from the growth since it was treated.
In February, 1888, I treated a cystic sarcoma of the right leg above the knee, caused by an injury. The leg was considerably swollen and the flesh felt hard and immovable. The patient received the following internal treatment: One tablespoonful of Comp. Syr. Scrophularia after each meal and a teaspoonful of the following prescription in a little water before each meal:
Sulph. Quinine, 3i.
Arom. Sulph. Acid fl., 3i.
Comp. Tr. Cinchona, 3viii.
Mix. Sig. Teaspoonful before each meal in a little water. Locally I applied to the growth equal parts of Solution Iodo Bromide Calcium (Tilden & Co.) and aqua. A compress made of lint was kept wet with this solution and in contact with the cancerous growth. In a month’s time the swelling of the leg was much less. In three months’ time it was about the natural size.
In 1906 I treated a man who had a sarcoma on the right side of his nose about as large as a walnut. There was an ulcer on the inside of the nostril on that side just under the growth. This growth appeared about six months previous to my seeing the case. He had been treated by a specialist in New York City without getting any relief. This case was treated as follows: I applied to the sarcoma a wash made from this prescription:
Boro Glycerine, 3vii.
Fl. Ext. Phytolacca, 3i.
Mix. Sig. Rub it well into the tumor three times a day.
I also used the Eclectic Wash internally. The following is the formula for this solution:
Fl. Ext. Baptisia,
Pl. Ext. Lobelia herb, a. a. fl. 3i.
Sulph. Zinc, 3i.
Mix. Sig. One teaspoonful in a cup of warm water.
Wet cotton with this and press it up into the nostril so it will act upon the ulcer. Do this three times a day. Internally I gave him Double Sulphide Tablets (Burgess) one, once in three hours in alternation with Calcarea flouride 6th X, three tablets once in three hours. Also one teaspoonful after each meal of the “Comp. Syr. Phytolacca.” The sarcoma disappeared and the ulcer healed under the treatment. I am not aware of any trouble with it since it was treated.
CANCER OF THE SCROTUM
A small excrescence forms at the base of the scrotum which soon degenerates into a malignant ulcer which rapidly extends, consuming the nearby integument, involving the testicle and adjacent parts. The induration extends along the spermatic cord and the lymphatics participate in the diseased action at an early period. The discharge is acrid, sanious and has considerable fetor; sometimes fungi protrude but generally the surface is excavated and smooth. For the treatment of such cases there are certain remedies indicated. When the ulcer is painful in the morning with burning in the circumference arsenic is the needed remedy. Give Fowler’s Solution three drops once in three hours. For the neuralgic pains in the cord, spongia is the remedy. Give spongia 3d X three tablets once an hour. If with the induration of the scrotum there is swelling and tenderness, aurum 12th X is the needful remedy. Dose, three tablets once in four hours. I have used the “Poultice Powder” as directed under the Local Treatment of Cancer. This poultice should be wet once a day with Fl. Ext. Phytolacca, green root. This powder will soften the induration and reduce the swelling of the scrotum. Then the case is in better condition for your active treatment. If taken at the first commencement of the disease, with the ulcer at the base of the scrotum, apply the Paste No. 3 to the ulcer long enough so you can feel sure all of the local growth has been destroyed. Then poultice it with the “Poultice Powder” once in two hours until it drops out on the poultice. It then can be healed with the “Yellow Healing Salve.” Such cases are rare but I have met with several during my professional practice. It is entirely useless to cut them out. It does not prolong life; it only hastens the death of the victim. If the whole of the scrotum and testicles are involved by the cancer there is not much chance of a cure by any treatment.
CANCER OF THE VAGINA
This form of the disease generally appears in the form of a tumor or an open ulcer, near the mouth of the urethra, in the labia, or at the lower end of the vagina near the perineum. Cancer of the vagina is more painful than cancer of the uterus. The peculiar darting, twisting pain of this malady will be felt at the seat of the disease, coming and going suddenly, extending to the perineum, down the inside of the thighs and often following the sciatic nerve as far down as the knees. It must not be confounded with caruncle, a small growth of a deep red color situated near the mouth of the urethra. It is about as large as a pea and has a granulated appearance. The chief symptom of caruncle is pain, felt all through micturition so intense that the patient screams with agony.
In May, 1886, I treated a lady for a cancer near the mouth of the urethra. It had ulcerated and was as large as a cherry. I applied saturated solution of chloride of zinc and a twenty-five per cent. solution of carbolic acid, equal parts. This I painted over the ulcerated surface once a day for six days. I then applied a poultice of pulverized flaxseed and slippery elm, equal parts, moistened with warm water. The poultice was placed in a bag made of mosquito netting and passed into the vagina and pressed up against the growth. This poultice was changed once in three hours until the growth came off on the poultice and left a clean, healthy sore. This I healed with the “Yellow Healing Salve” applied on soft white cloth just large enough to cover the sore and changed three times a day until the sore was completely healed. Internally this patient was given silicea 6th X three tablets three times a day before meals and “Comp. Syr. Phytolacca,” one teaspoonful after each meal. This treatment was continued until the sore was healed. There has been no return of the growth since I treated it. In cases of the above form of cancer be sure that you apply your solution to every part of the diseased surface.
In February, 1881, I treated a lady for cancer of the vagina. There was a tumor on the right side of the vagina in the labial region about as large as a walnut. It was very painful, of a purple color and nearly ready to ulcerate. I injected Tincture Thuja, from ten to twenty drops (ten drops the first time) into the tumor every other day. It caused some swelling but the tumor gradually grew smaller and finally sloughed out. I then applied a glycerole of Thuja (thuja and glycerine equal parts) painting it on over the diseased surface three times a day until there was no thickening or induration left and the sore had healed. Internally I gave her the following prescription:
Tr. Phytolacca, a. a. 3i.
Mix. Sig. Ten drops once in three hours.
I also gave her sulph. strychnine one-thirtieth grain before each meal and at bedtime. This treatment removed the growth entirely and it has not returned since. You will generally get cases of this disease in women past the middlelife.