Chapter 6: Taking a Case
In "taking a case" of cancer to treat we want to look the patient over carefully; we want to know something of his habits of life. If he is an intemperate man, uses intoxicating drinks, we cannot cure him, for alcohol heats the blood and acts the same on cancer as kerosene does on fire. It is best to let such cases severely alone. The morphine or opium fiend cannot be cured, for the drug is all the time working dead against your remedies. We examine the pulse of our patient; we find the pulse of cancer a weak pulse, often a discouraged feeling to it, and quicker than normal. The weight and feeling of the muscles show lack of nutrition. The tongue under its yellowish, white color shows, in advanced cancer a dark red color; in the last stages we have the "beef steak" tongue. The white of the eye has a pearly tint with greenish yellow spots, showing a drain upon the system, toxic matter in the blood and decomposition of albumen. The eyes will tell you if the glands are acting normally or not. The tongue shows you whether the patient is digesting his food or not; if he cannot digest his food he cannot make good blood. The pulse tells you whether the vital forces are strong or weak. You must learn to study the quality and character of the pulse; until you can do that, you cannot cure this disease or any other.
Thus it is, by a careful intelligent study of the eye, tongue and pulse of our patient, we can get a good idea of the advancement made by the disease and the vitality of the patient; and this will be a guide to us in making up our prognosis and also for the rational treatment of the case. I must again impress this one thing upon my readers, the first thing is to build up the vitality of the patient at or near the normal healthy point; if you can do this, no matter how bad the case may seem to you, your patient has at least a "fighting chance" for his life. If you do nothing more for your patient, you have at least got him started on the right road to health.
How do you know that the system is responding to your remedies? Why, because the pulse feels stronger, fuller and more regular; it has lost that discouraged feeling. The tongue is cleaning off, and, underneath, we see a lighter red color to the body of the tongue. The digestion is improved, the tongue is moist, not sticky. The eye has lost the yellowish greenish tint, it does not look cloudy and the pearly tint is nearly gone from the white of the eye. So you know your patient is better and feeling the remedial action of your remedies before you look at the cancer. The local conditions must be met by the local remedies as they are indicated.
Each case must be studied by itself and the remedy given which is best adapted to that particular case. If your patient has any form of indigestion that must be looked after, for you cannot cure your patient if he does not digest his food properly, for he must do that in order to make good blood. Any complication that causes pain or worries the patient must be looked after and cured. Any drains upon the system, like diabetes, Bright's disease, chronic diarrhea, menorrhagia or hemorrhoids must be attended to for they will weaken the vitality of your patient and lessen the chances of recovery. The patient's mind must be at rest, for worriment of mind causes weakness of the "Nerve power" and will also lessen the chances of recovery. If the patient has been operated upon one or more times you will know that the nerve power is weak, for every operation is a shock to the system, and you must adapt your remedies to this condition.
Never forget the fact that the general health of the patient must be better before the cancer is any better. Watch the eyes, the tongue and the pulse; they will tell you of your patient's condition. One of the first things my students have to learn is how to read the pulse. Not one doctor in a thousand can do it. Never, never, count the pulse. You cannot tell anything about it by counting. No man can do two things at once. You cannot count it and read it at the same time. Grasp the wrist of your patient; banish every thought from your mind; think of what you are doing and what you want to know. How does it feel? What is the impression you get from the pulse? Remember the pulse of cancer has a weak discouraged feeling. It is a little faster than normal. If there is pain the pulse will show it, also if there is any heart difficulty. You can tell by the pulse if your patient is responding to the action of your remedies. The pulse will feel a little stronger, fuller and more regular. Remember that the healthy, normal pulse is full, strong and regular.
Never give an opinion upon a case of cancer until you have seen it and examined it yourself. Do not be influenced at all by the diagnosis or prognosis of any doctor, but form your own opinion. Be honest with your patients, tell them what it is, and just what you can do for them. If you think you cannot cure them, tell them so. Do not deceive them. When once you have taken a case to cure get after the disease and stick to it until you CURE it. The world, today, demands men who can "do things."
The doctors associated with me in the treatment of cancer in the different States of the Union are doing things, and as a result, many precious lives are being saved every year from cancer. This book comes to you with an earnest, heartfelt prayer that you will STUDY it and MASTER its contents, and try and DO something with this treatment. No man can tell what he can do until he tries. Take hold of this work with all your heart and soul or else let it severely alone. It holds out a chance to do good to a class of patients that demand our sympathy and our most skillful treatment. Two or three good cures will establish your reputation.
Never guarantee to cure anything or anybody. Never send medicine to a case of cancer without erst having examined it yourself. There are some doctors who do that kind of business, but it is the worst form of quackery. I do not care to be associated with such men. Be careful what statements you make to your patients. Do not make the foolish blunder, as some doctors have, and tell them that "a malignant tumor is not a cancer", or that "lupus is not a form of cancer." Such statements show woeful ignorance on the subject of cancer. Some doctors have tried to frighten the public by claiming that cancer is contagious, but there is not a spark of evidence to prove such a foolish notion. Only about fifteen cases in too are hereditary. Keep a complete record of all your cases for future reference. Be careful about having any physician examine your patients; only one in about 500 knows how to examine a cancer patient properly. I have known of cases of cancerous tumor in the breast pinched and squeezed by a doctor, just out of pure devilishness to irritate the cancer and interfere with the treatment; such men are brutes and ought never to have been physician. The moment such men put their hand on a cancer in the breast they show their ignorance of the very first principles of the diagnosis of cancer.
A doctor of all men should be a gentle man, and have an easy, gentle touch. I have had patients tell me how their physician pinched and squeezed the tumor in their breast until they screamed so that people could hear them out in the street. Such men are ignorant jackasses. I told these patients that they should have "slapped them in the face." Such men need that kind of treatment. It is the only treatment that they can understand. In examining a case of cancer it is hardly ever necessary to cause a patient a moments pain where a doctor understands his business. Treat your lady patients just as you wou1d like a brother physician to examine you or examine your wife, sister or mother.