Cancer, pathological condition characterized by uncontrolled, abnormal and purposeless proliferation of cells, horribly torments the patient till the end of his life. By the virtue of homoeopathic principles, medicine can be prepared from the cancerous cells, tissues or obnoxious products of this disorder which is a nosode called carcinosin. Although Carcinosin was originally prepared by Dr Burnett, Dr. W Lees Templeton and Dr. Donald M. Foubister deserves to be credited for stabilizing the position of this marvellous deep acting remedy in our materia medica. The backbone of symptomatology is based on the clinical findings obtained by Dr. Foubister who also carried out extensive proving of this drug. The proper drug proving of carcinosin was also done by Dr Templeton but the symptoms obtained were not very significant for the purpose of prescription. This article is all about the drug picture of carcinosin for it’s implementation in our clinical practice in a better way.
Cancer, Nosode, Carcinosin, drug picture.
It is considered to be the second most cause of leading death. The process of carcinogenesis is a continuum of discrete tissue and cellular changes that usually extends over years resulting in aberrant physiologic processes characterised by uncontrolled and purposeless proliferation of cells which is abnormal in nature.
Nosode is a Greek word which means disappearance of the disease. Dr Hering proved them on healthy human beings first and then used them as homoeopathic medicines. Nosodes are the homoeopathic medicines which are prepared from morbid products of human beings, plants, animals, microorganisms including vaccines, toxins and employed them following all the laws and principles of homoeopathy.
History of Carcinosin (3)–
History is as important as the roots are for the tree and so is the case with carcinosin. History can be classified under three important headings-
a) Dr. BURNETT’S PREPARATION
b) Dr. Templeton ‘s proving’s
c) Dr. Pashero & Dr. Shapiro’s independent findings
a) Dr. BURNETT’S PREPARATION (3) –
He prepared the medicine from breast carcinoma which is also considered as the original source of carcinosin. There is no other very extensive findings available from his clinical experience.
b) Dr. Templeton ‘s proving’s-(3)(4)
Psychological symptoms obtained from his proving’s depict a mental picture of cerebral torpor, mental inertia secondary to which the prover may even develop apathy and does not reply to questions. Brain work is a trial to him. He is preoccupied which annoys him.
c)Dr. Pashero & Dr. Shapiro’s independent findings-(3)(5)
Dr Pashero belonged to Argentina and Dr. Shapiro was from South Africa. (5)
Both of them reported independently that carcinoma is among those homoeopathic medicines which are generally indicated for the bad effects of vaccination. (3)(5)
Dr. Pashero has administered the medicine in pre-operative cases to patients undergoing plastic surgery, he found that the incidence of keloid scar formation in those cases were significantly reduced. (3)(5)
Source of carcinosin (3)–
The original source was possibly breast carcinoma prepared by Dr Burnett. The extensive proving of this drug was done by Dr Foubister, he even proved the medicine on himself in 200th potency.
Other sources of preparation of carcinosin (3)–
|Name of the medicine||Source|
|Carcinosin ADENO STOM.||From an epithelioma of the stomach.|
|Carcinosin ADENO VESICA||From an epithelioma of the bladder|
|Carcinosin INTEST CO||From epitheliomata of the intestine and of the bladder|
Potencies available (3)–
The following Potencies are available from A. Nelson & Co., Ltd-
|C. Adeno stom||6||12||30||200||1M|
|C. Adeno vesica||6||12||30|
|C. Intest. co.||6||12||30|
|C. Scir. Mam||6||12||30||200|
|C. Squam. Pulm||6||12||30||200|
Foubister’s interest in Carcinosin (3)
In the out-patient department, Dr Foubister encountered two patients born of two different mothers who were not relatives suffering from insomnia, the remarkable similarity in the appearance which consisted of blue sclerotics, numerous moles and café-au-lait spots made him very curious, the curiosity amplified when he came to know that both the mothers were suffering from breast carcinoma during pregnancy. A thought clicked on his mind that the exhibiting characteristics features of these children may be owing to the mother’s condition which is breast carcinoma as these children were nourished by the cancerous blood via feto-materal circulation. A question aroused in this mind whether this was a proving of Carcinosin, or just a coincidence ? In order to clarify his doubts he started testing the remedy on 200 cases.
Appearance of Carcinosin(3) –
The appearance is characterized by a triad of Brown Cafe-au-lait spots or coffee with milk spots, blue sclerosis and numerous moles. They have a pale complexion.
(a) – numerous moles (right hand side of the face)
Image (b) – numerous moles (left hand side of the face)
Source of image (a) & (b)- Out-patient department, Mahesh Bhattacharya Homoeopathic Medical College and Hospital.
Mental symptoms forms the fundamental basis of Carcinosin so it is extremely important. By nature the patient mild, sensitive, gentle, romantic person who also has an artistic touch. A person who loves to draw ,loves dancing or a bit poetic. The person is extremely fastidious and perfectionist by nature like arsenic album, graphites and anacardium as well. It bears opposite relation to sulphur. The patient is extremely loving, caring and dutiful toward his or her family. There is a period of prolonged fear and fright in the patient which is being suppressed for years, eventually which affects the hormonal balance of the body and that leads to all the symptomatology. There is a history of sexual abuse in the patient, parental dominance or pressure to perform, unhappiness for a prolonged duration of time. A 10 years old girl say for example is tortured mentally and physically, keeping the lips locked is the only left with her and that is something which is also suggested by her family members at times because expressing the incident will not defame her family but may also ruin her own future. So the little girl has to tolerate that fear , fright inside her for years. A school going is always kept under the pressure of coming first in the class by the parents , may be that the child is not very interested in studies but the child is punished for not performing well or up to the expectations. The child quietly bears the torture for years as there is no other option left. Suppression is an imminent feature of staphysargia as well and hence should be differentiated very well. There is a prominent history of SUPPRESSION in this drug but the suppression is of the Anger, insult , chagrin but not fear, anticipation like Carcinosin that too for a long period of time . The chronicity of staphysagria is unlike carcinosin which too deep acting. A girl is extremely unhappy with her marriage, her husbands misbehaves always with her and she has been going through since last 15 years for example without any revolt. After a couple of years , these patients develop fear of anticipation which is an extremely important feature of this drug worth mentioning. The 10 years old girl who was being physically abused in her childhood now turns 20, but whenever there is a knock on the door she is terrified with the thought that the man will come to abuse her, she is now in such a mental state that the knock on the door itself terrifies her, may not necessary be the man has come but she becomes fearful just with thought or anticipation. This fear of anticipation is very prominent in this drug. The obedient child who was a bit artistic ,romantic ,poetic 15 years ago now under the pressure of coming first in the class or in the university loses the artistic touch and becomes disobedient, aggressive at times. This exactly how the patient starts developing the bipolar nature, and there is alternation of symptoms everywhere in the patient. The woman who was tolerating her husband’s torture for years, another example of fear of anticipation goes from my understanding of carcinosin, now she is terrified just by the voice of her husband, just the voice instigates the fear within her and terrifies her with the thought that now she will be beaten up, may be she is tolerating everything for her kids or parents, as mentioned earlier Carcinosin patients are very family loving, now she might land up in some psychic manifestations. This is how the patient starts develop the psychic as well as psychosomatic manifestations after tolerating everything for a very prolonged duration of time.
The phase of development of Psychic manifestations(6)–
Due to continuous mental anxiety and its suppression for a very long duration of time the patient starts to develop psychic symptoms which are as follows-
1.Obsessive compulsive disorder-
2.Attention deficit disorder-
Development of psychosomatic manifestations(6) –
Continous anxiety, fear, unhappiness being suppressed in the patient years after years leads to he consequences of psychosomatic manifestations because of hormonal imbalance in the patient’s body. The hypothalamo- pituitary-ovarian axis is greatly imbalanced due to which the patient lands up in several disorders where estrogen level is increased in the body including polycystic ovarian syndrome, uterine fibroid, breast carcinoma and many more. Apart from this, the continuous unfathomable stress and anxiety causes many metabolic disorders like hypertension, asthma, diabetes and many more.
History of the patient (3) –
It includes recurrent attacks of bronchitis, pneumonia Whooping cough in childhood history and even tendency to suffer from severe inflammatory illness like tonsillitis, mumps and many more.
It includes long term history of traumatic childhood which may include sexual abuse, unhappiness, parental dominance. History of fear and fright are the fundamental background of carcinosin. With careful case taking its the duty of the doctor to bring out the symptoms from he patient.
Presence of cancer in the family history of the patient is a very prominent prescribing symptom of this medicine but there are many such cases where Dr Foubister has prescribed carcinosin in the absence of cancer in the family history (provided that the other constitutional symptoms are present) and he has got wonderful results. Apart from cancer, the family history also includes diabetes, tuberculosis or a mixture of these diseases, more strongly represented than in an “average family”.
Sleep (3)(6) –
It’s indicated for chronic or acute insomnia. Foubister had treated many cases of insomnia with carcinosin and has got immense results. There is loss of sleep from anticipation or anxiety. Restless sleep but ameliorated by short naps. Unrefreshing sleep, wakes at midnight, 4am , from dreams. Nightmares are often present .the patient wakes up early and frequently as from a fright, terror or shocks through the body. Worse from interrupted sleep. Position of the sleep is extremely important. Knee elbow position or genu pectoral position (Mohammedan prayer position) relief to the patient. Only one drug is mentioned in Kent’s Repertory for Knee elbow position of sleep which Medorrhinum. Foubister’s list of other medicines following this sleep position includes Tuberculinum, Phosphorus, Sepia, Lycopodium and Calc Phos.
The guiding symptoms given by Dr Templeton includes –
1. Suborbital headache like Tuberculinum.
2. Feeling of constriction in the brain with throbbing headache. The headache is right sided, pulsating and deep-seated.
3. Twitching in the eyelids.
Ear, Nose and throat (3)(4)(5) –
Sensation of lump in the throat. There is palatial pain and localization of the pain is unusual and therefore of great importance ,according to Templeton.
It includes tender gums, dental pain and ulceration.
Respiratory system (3)(6)(7)(8) –
It includes personal history like recurrent attacks of bronchitis, pneumonia Whooping cough.(3)Indicated for tuberculosis, recurring bronchitis and asthma (perspiration causes amelioration in asthma) (7).
Causation includes (3)(6) –
After fright (asthma), wet weather, morning, forenoon, 10am.
Character of the cough includes(3)(6)–
1.Tickling Cough in the throat pit.
2 . Stomach cough like Bryonia
3. Cough with pain behind the sternum provoked by tickling the subterranean region.
Chronic pneumonia in children with bloody expectoration and splitting of blood
Modalities (3)(6)(8) –
Cold air, bathing, dressing and undressing, uncovering, eating, shaving, laughing.
Indicated for Breast cancer, chronic mastitis, induration (6).
Dr Gun used this medicine for chronic mastitis in 3X potency in frequent repetitions(3)(5).
Particular symptoms (6)–
1.There is nodule formation, retraction of nipples and bloody discharges also present. 2.Swelling and tenderness before menses, with violent tension in the breast.
3. Breast changes shape.
4.Family history of cancer strongly clinches towards this medicine(3)(5)(6).
Kent’s comments (3)(9) –
Kent has mentioned in his Lesser writings that he used the preparation of carcinoma prepared from breast. The patient has a clear, permanent, colourless watery discharge. A small amount of this liquid was potentised and used for treatment. The results were quite satisfactory and good .
He had mentioned that this remedy only relieves the intolerance pain of cancer and does not revert the cancerous tissues in normal condition. It helps to slow the progression of the disease and therefore prolongs the life of the patient.
Cardiovascular system (3)(4)(5)(6) –
Visible, Audible, violent.
Sensation of constriction.
There is a deep desire to breathe.
Gastrointestinal system (3)(4)(5)(6)(10)–
Indicated for – stomach ulcers, chronic ulcerative colitis, Bulimia, indigestion, belching and many more (6).
Very useful for worms reported by Dr. Clarke (10).
Particular symptoms (3)(4)(5)(6) –
- Feeling of tightness
- Constipation without desire.
- Stools – Hard and dry.
- Pain is better for pressure or for bending double, or for hot drinks.
Back and limbs (3)(6) –
Foubister used it for treating ganglion and had got great results.
- Muscular twitching in thighs, back and arms.
- Pain, weakness, fatigue and swelling of the thighs.
Aggravation- Rapid movement.
Amelioration- Short sleep, heat, gentle movement.
General modalities (3)(6)–
Aggravation- Hot weather, Weather extremes, worse air at the sea shore, worse full moon or new moon.
Amelioration- open air and thunderstorms.
Approaching storms may aggravate or ameliorate the symptoms.
Carcinosin as a constitutional remedy (3)–
It can be used as a constitutional remedy of one or more of the following is present-
1.The family history (cancer, tuberculosis, diabetes) and preferably the personal history (whooping cough ,severe acute inflammatory disorders and many more).
2.Reaction to sea air-
“lnfluenced by sea air” is a prominent symptom of this remedy. The patient may be better or worse at the sea side.
Medorrhinum- loves sea and the complaints ameliorate on visiting the sea shore.
Natrium muriaticum- it about 50-50 chances of being ameliorated or aggravated in the sea shore.
3.Appetite -There may be craving or aversion to salt, milk, eggs ,fat meat, fruits. It can be added to the list of remedies having a craving for fat. There may be alteration of symptoms in this medicine just like lac caninum and sepia so the patient may have craving towards these things or may have aversion towards these things. Even craving and aversion may be found in the same patient in different times.
4.Knee elbow position of the sleep in children is very imminent in this drug the reason behind is that this position causes great relief to the patient. Normally this position is adopted in the first nine or twelve months of life when the baby is in mother’s womb.
5.Related remedies- Either two or more strong partial indications ,or, one or more remedies have not achieve what would be expected. The Related and complementary remedies includes –Tuberculins, Medorrhinum, Sepia, Syphillinum, Natrium muriaticum, Calcarea phosphorica , Phosphorus, Lycopodium, Arsenic album, Arsenicum Iodatum, Pulsatilla, Sulphur, Natrium sulphuricum, Opium, Alumina, Staphysagria, Nux vomica, dioscorea.
6.The patient’s appearance-
The carcinosin look which includes numerous moles, cafe-au-lait spots, blue sclerotics. Although Dr Foubister has given enough importance to the carcinosin look but at the same time he had mentioned that mere absence of this feature does not rule the remedy if the other indications are prominently present. This appearance very strongly indicates carcinosin but its presence or absence is not the determining criteria always if the other symptoms are present.
Similarities with many medicines (3)(5)(6) –
Lac caninum and Sepia – Carcinosin has alteration of symptoms just like Lac caninum and Sepia.
Phosphorus- phosphorus type of carcinosin patients are dutiful, responsible and sympathetic type.
Medorrhinum – loves sea and the complaints ameliorate on visiting the sea shore. Another way to link up is the child’s sensitiveness to reprimanding.
Tuberculinum- love for travel and the obstinate nature.
Nat Mur- there are about only 50-50 chances of either reacting with the sea side aggressively or amelioration of the symptoms.
Related and complementary remedies (3)(5)(6)–
Tuberculins, Medorrhinum, Sepia, Syphillinum, Natrium muriaticum, Calcarea phosphorica , Phosphorus, Lycopodium, Arsenic album, Arsenicum Iodatum, Pulsatilla, Sulphur, Natrium sulphuricum, Opium, Alumina, Staphysagria, Nux vomica, dioscorea.
Relationship of remedies (6)(10)(11) –
When well indicated nosodes including Psorinum, Medorrhinum, Syphillinum and Tuberculinum fail to cure or produce a temporary amelioration of all the symptoms the complementary drug Carcinosin.
As per Dr. S.R Phatak, Carcinosin can be used as an intercurrent remedy along with the indicated medicine (11).
As per Dr. Foubister’s personal experience ,some patients who had responded to Carcinosin but whose improvement only lasted for a short time have derived from auto-isopathy.
We have witnessed miraculous cure in several critical conditions by the aid of Carcinosin, the cancer nosode. To prescribe the medicine as a constitutional remedy one should have a detailed knowledge about the medicine and should be aware of every minute detail of the medicine. This article describe the medicine in full details so that one does not miss out the minute details, including the carcinosin look , while prescribing. There are cases where well indicated remedy fails to cure the case or temporary ameliorate ,carcinosin can stand up and make a notice if the constitutional symptoms are present. Pre-clinical and clinical researches should be carried out in increasing quantities to unfold more hidden potentials of this unfailing weapon.
- Harrison. Harrison’s principles of internal medicine, volume 1, 21st edition, International.
- Mondal and Mondal. A textbook of homoeopathic pharmacy by Mondal and Mondal, thoroughly and enlarged 3rd edition;2012.
- Dr D.M Foubister. The carcinosin drug picture.
- Dr W. Lees Templeton. The British homoeopathic journal, April 1954.
- Dr Dorothy J. Cooper. The nosode Carcinosin, The British homoeopathic journal, July 1982.
- Dr Robin Murphy. Lotus Materia Medica, 3rd revised edition.
- Dr Frederik Schroyens, Repertorium Homoeopathicum syntheticum, Augmented clinical synthesis, Edition 9.1, Indian edition, .Jain publishers (P) Ltd.
- Dr Berkeley Squire. A Repertory of Homoeopathic nosodes and sarcodes , B.Jain publishers (P) Ltd.
- Dr J. T Kent. Lesser writings
- Dr J.H Clarke, MD. A Dictionary of Practical Materia Medica ,volume 1.
- Dr S.R Phatak. Materia Medica of Homoeopathic medicines, 2nd edition (revised and enlarged), B.Jain publishers (P) Ltd.
About the author –
Dr. Mashusree Dutta.
Pg Scholar (Part I ), Mahesh Bhattacharya Homoeopathic Medical College and Hospital, West Bengal.