Chapter 2: Surgery not a Cure for Cancer
There are about 50,000 people who die of cancer in the United States annually. From my own experience in the treatment of cancer in all its forms, for forty years, I feel confident that ninety-five per cent. of these cases could have been saved without an operation. Over the tombstones of most of them might be written, "BUTCHERED IN THE NAME OF SCIENCE." For the past 200 years the great mass of the medical profession have considered cancer as a local disease, and they have made it their practice to cut out everything that looks like a cancer.
Dr. Walsh, in his able work on cancers, says: "The knife can neither be regarded as. a means of curing cancer or of prolonging the existence of the person afflicted with the disease." Dr. Thomas W. Cooke, surgeon of the Cancer Hospital, London, England, says: "From 1851 to 1863 there were 413 cases of cancer operated on at the Cancer Hospital, London, England. The average time before the cancer returned was only 6 1/2 months." Dr. Monroe, of Scotland, operated on "sixty cases of cancer; at the end of two years only four out of the sixty operations were successful". In 1896 I kept a record of fifty cases of cancer of the tongue that had been operated upon, and not a single cure was effected. Dr. James Wood of the Royal College, London, said: "Gentlemen, I have operated on some thousand cases of cancer and they all returned but six, and they were not cancer." Sir Benjamin Brodie (one of the fathers in surgery) said, after he had removed 500 cancers of the breast, that "he would not remove another without telling the patient that the operation would not prolong her life."
Sir James Paget, one of England's greatest physicians, says in speaking of cancer, "the number of cases in which cancer does not return is not more than one in Five Hundred." In my own practice about four out of five cases of cancer that come to me have had a surgical operation, and the cancer had returned worse than it was before.
About one hundred years ago the early fathers of the Botanic School of Medicine considered cancer as a blood or constitutional disease and treated it as such and cured it. No form of purely local treatment will ever cure this malady, because it is in the blood and must be reached through the blood. In 1869 I treated my first case of cancer. I called it a blood disease. I treated it with our simple botanic remedies and cured it.
If I ever had any faith in a surgical operation as a cure for cancer it has been rudely shaken by my daily contact with victims of cancer that have been operated upon with the result that the cancer has returned in a worse state than at first. I have been forced to the conclusion that an operation never cures the disease, but actually hastens the death of the victim. In this State, I saw a case of cancer of the breast that had been operated on three times; the last time the surgeon made a thorough examination with the microscope, after the operation, and told the lady that he would "guarantee that the cancer would never return." In six months the cancer was doing business at the old stand.
I saw a case of cancer of the breast from New York State that had been cut out eight times and the disease had returned worse than ever. Another lady had a cancer of the breast operated upon twelve times and the cancer finally caused her death. In another case I saw a young man, who had a swelling come in his groin. The doctors cut it out; it returned and then another operation, and so on until he had been operated upon four times. At the time I saw the case the leg above the knee was one mass of sarcoma. He was past cure. I met with a lady in this State who had a cancer near the eye. It had been cut out four times and given up as past cure, but I cured it and that was seven years ago. I met with a case of cancer where the breast had been removed; it returned and another operation removed the arm of the affected side. Then death closed the scene.
Time and again I have seen cases where all the breast had been removed and all the glands under the arm of the affected side, and still the cancer returned. I recall cases of. cancer of the uterus that had been operated on from one to three times and finally caused the death of the patient. I have had to listen to many a tale of woe from patients, who have told me with tears running down their cheeks that their physicians had told them. if they "would have their cancer cut out that it would never return". Any doctor who makes such a statement as that must be either a knave or a fool; let us be charitable and think that it must he the latter. For no doctor who has had any experience with cancer would ever make a promise of that kind. It has been the hardest work of my life to make some doctors realize that the growth they see is only the effect, and that back of that lies the cause; and the cause must he removed before we can cure the cancer.
May God hasten the day when it will be considered a crime to cut out a cancer. After forty-three years' experience with cancer I can honestly say that I have never seen a genuine case of cancer permanently cured by a surgical operation. To cut out a cancer is the worst form of malpractice, for it is only trying to remove the effect without touching the cause. From an extensive correspondence with physicians from every State in the Union I find that the rank and file of the profession are tired and disgusted with operations for cancer, for they have seen them return time and time again. They are more than anxious to find a better and saner method of treatment for cancer that offers at least some hope of a cure.