Cancer is apparently an incurable fatal sickness. The number of cases are increasing day by day. The treatment strategy is fixed in the conventional system of medicine i.e. early diagnosis, surgery, radio-therapy, chemotherapy. But in homoeopathy no such specific guide line has been mentioned. As we know that in homoeopathy we treat the patient not the disease, so whatever may be the nosological condition our mode of approach does not differ much from disease to disease. But a disease like cancer (incurable disease), where vitality is very poor, is it justifiable to treat such incurable condition like that of a curable state? Our case taking, evaluation of symptoms, angle of prescription, potency selection etc., are thus needed to be modified according to demand of the vitality.
In terms of incurable condition cancer is one of them. It is a sickness which start with hopeless beginning and terminate as deadly end. According to WHO- Cancer is a generic term for a large group of diseases that can affect any part of the body. Other terms used are malignant tumours and neoplasms. One defining feature of cancer is the rapid creation of abnormal cells that grow beyond their usual boundaries, and which can then invade adjoining parts of the body and spread to other organs, the latter process is referred to as metastasis. Metastases are the major cause of death from cancer. Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for 8.2 million deaths in 2012 . The most common causes of cancer death are cancers of:lung (1.59 million deaths), liver (745 000 deaths), stomach (723 000 deaths), colorectal (694 000 deaths), breast (521 000 deaths), Oesophageal cancer (400 000 deaths).
It is expected that annual cancer cases will rise from 14 million in 2012 to 22 within the next 2 decades.Tobacco use, alcohol use, unhealthy diet and physical inactivity are the main cancer risk factors worldwide. Some chronic infections are risk factors for cancer and have major relevance in low- and middle-income countries.According to WHO, the primary goal is to cure cancer or to considerably prolong life span. Improving the patient’s quality of life is also an important goal. It can be achieved by supportive or palliative care and psychological support.
Everybody knows that cancer is a world wide problem nowadays. It was not or has never been a new disease. Actually every sickness at earlier phase remain in simple form but gradually and gradually it modifies and represents as complicated and incurable one. The curability of any state to become incurable is enhanced by external environment and internal environment (defense mechanism of body) and also influenced by mode it’s of treatment. Each sickness at earlier phase have following characteristics- 1. Typical presentation. 2. Less virulence, low morbidity and less mortality rate. 3. Easy to treat. 4. Maximum chance of recovery without any complication. But as the sickness progresses through different generation it shows the following features – 1. Atypical presentation. 2. Maximum virulence, high morbidity and mortality rate. 3. Difficult to treat. 4. Minimum chance of recovery with complications. So in every moment gradual strengthening of the external inimical forces (in the name of carcinogens) and vulnerability (manipulated by mal-nourishment, undue and improper medication, vaccination) of our immune system towards various inimical forces, increase incident rate of cancer cases.
Why cancer is incurable?
According to homoeopathic philosophy disease by name itself is not curable or incurable but it is the affected vitality which is curable or incurable. Cancerous state are incurable due to:
1. Paucity of symptoms.
2. Individual often represents with life threatening crisis.
3. Speedy detoriation.
4. Long term pre-clinical vague representation, and clinically diagnosis done at advance stage of sickness.
5. Speedy or quick systematic involvement.
Who are liable to suffer from cancerous state? All individual are not equally prone to develop cancerous state, basic thing is that sign of incurability (in name of cancerous state here) is manifested to us from very beginning of sickness. But unfortunately we are unable to read that. Cancerous state is reaction of very poor vitality, so being a homoeopath, first of all we need to know what is the expression of poor vitality, which is the first step to detect any incurable state. Expressions of poor vitality are- lack of characteristic symptoms , sickness enriched with common symptoms, past history of suffering from frequent acute diseases or no acute suffering at all, past history and family history of various grave sickness , or the individual may represent with irreversible pathological changes. In case of treatment, weak vitality is least susceptible towards curative response, takes longer period for recovery from any acute conditions , where many medicines come in mind after case taking and there is frequently change of image of the sickness.This is the representation of any incurable state. Such individual are very prone to develops incurable state like cancer or any other such conditions.
Cancer has limited scope of treatment, because patient’s come for treatment only when the disease has progressed much.Everybody is bothered about haemoptysis but nobody has taken care when it has represented earlier as smoker’s cough. It is because, early representations of any sickness are always neglected, though it may be a big alarming sign of a major sickness. Our ignorance, careless attitude is responsible for such deadly incident.
In my short practice life, I had the opportunity to treat few cancer cases (approx – 20),where I have been able to palliate them by increasing their lifespan and I have learnt from those cases. Here I am sharing my experiences and also my mistakes.
Application of law of similia is not enough to explain, how we should work out a cancer case. It is very important at which level of sickness we are applying this law. As sickness progresses its characteristic reactions are going to regress. It is very unusual that we can get any emotional and mental characteristic symptoms for prescription in such so called incurable condition(until vitality is good enough).But if we trying to probe at this level (where sickness reached the state of incurability), we may get some characteristic which was reflection of previous state (i.e. state of curability). If we are going to prescribe on that state then it will definitely spoil the case, because that previous state was reflection of curative phase which no longer persists now. If we do so then it will do nothing but injure the already wounded vitality and lead the case to a speedydetoriation. That’s why deep seated anti-psoric is no longer required when vitality is weak, so it should be kept in mind that law of similia is to be imposed to the present state of the patient now, not the previous state of sickness.If we do so then we are doing nothing but applyingdissimilia in the name of similia.
How to frame Totality and Evaluation of symptoms:
We should always try to frame totality focusing on recently developed picture and trace the characteristicsfrom nature of the pain, character of haemorrhage, modality, and recent alteration of any physical general symptoms . We must put more value to pathological/ particular characteristic symptoms.
In such cases patients present with many symptoms of complications/ side effects of radio-therapy/ chemotherapy/ surgery. Ideally we should exclude them from totality but practically it difficult to do.So is better to do the followings 1. Prescribe the medicine on the conjoint picture of disease as we are unable to distinguish two components (natural and artificial component) .2. Or, treat the natural one if artificial one is subdued by modifying or controlling diet and regime. 3. Or, after assessing the vitality of the patient, we need to distinguish which one is more close to the cry of vitality and treat accordingly. (i.e. treat that component from which we are get the characteristic symptoms).
Selection of potency and repetition:
This state of vitality is not ready to react against any form of aggravation (homoeopathic, medicinal, disease). Any form of aggravation may kill the patient. So lower potency is advisable. If any prescribing characteristic is coming from any other comparatively healthy part other than the deeply pathologically affected organ then a somewhat higher potency is advisable whereas if the symptoms solely belong to the affected organ or organs then lower potency is advisable. Frequently repetition necessary for such cases because 1) Medicinal action is easily exhausted. 2) Image of sickness is subjected to frequently changes.
When aggravation is followed by amelioration – curative response which is not expected from any incurable vitality. The desirable observation which we usually get in such cases are – 5th observation of Kent: “The amelioration comes first and the aggravation comes afterwards, 6th observation (Kent): “Too short relief of the symptoms.”Kent seventh observation – “full time amelioration of the symptoms, yet no special relief of the patient. Seventh observation is highest desirable reaction for cancerous patient.
Case management and referring:
As a homoeopathic physician we must know how to manage cancer case. I have lost most of the cases due to poor management. For such cases we must understand limitations of incurable vitality. So we have to support patient’s vitality not only by homoeopathic medication but also by surgery/chemotherapy/radio-therapy and others managmental protocol as and when required. It is more logical to practice homoeopathic medication along with others supportive management. Blood transfusion, I.V fluid management, moist Oxygen administration, catheterization are often required during treatment of a cancer patient. Other than this, more logical way of practice is, as for example in an advance stage CA
↓ (administration of chemotherapy)
Regression of tumour mass + side effects of chemotherapy.
↓ (administration of correct homoeopathic treatment)
Better response towards chemotherapy+ less side effects.
if we interfere treatment protocol in such a way where we can minimize side effects of allopathic medication, and at the same time enhance desired effects of allopathic medication, and this will more beneficial for cancer patient. That’s why it is better to refer our patient when it requires.
This article is all about my learning from my teachers, my patients and of course from my own mistakes. Basic thing is that nothing is contraindicating or against homoeopathic laws and principles, for understanding these facts, only increase one’s horizon of thinking with respect to the truth.
- Hahnemann, Samuel. “Organon of Medicine”, Translated from 5th edition with an appendix by R.E. Dudgeon; with Additions & Alterations as per Sixth edition translated by William Boericke, B. Jain Publishers Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi.
- Hahnemann, Samuel. “The Chronic Diseases – Their Peculiar Nature and Their Homoeopathic Cure”, Translated from the Second Enlarged German edition by Prof. Louis H. Tafel; B.Jain Publishers Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi, 1997; Pg.138.
- Kent, J.T., “Lectures on Homoeopathic Philosophy”, Reprint edition, New Delhi: Indian Book & Periodical Publishers., 2002.
- Roberts, Herbert A. “The Principles & Art of Cure by Homoeopathy”, B. Jain Publishers (Pvt.) Ltd., New Delhi, 1996
- Vithoulkas, George., “The science of homoeopathy”, Reprint edition ,New Delhi : B Jain publishers Pvt. Ltd., 1990. (pp-296-321)