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alone, associated external agents in the treatment with it." *

Notwithstanding this strong evidence in the favour of arsenic, Velpeau says:-"But it is evident, from what has been published on this subject, that arsenical preparations are incapable of curing really cancerous tumours:" but he adds, "my natural disinclination to employ these substances has prevented me from prescribing them to anybody. Not being able to do good by their agency, I feared to do injury." +

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Mercury. This drug has had many advocates who believe it to be a specific. It has been strongly recommended by MM. Gama and Bégin; but Velpeau says that, although he has used it in many hundred cases, yet found it to be perfectly inutile. I however, think that it is not only useless, but mischievous, especially in cases of cancer of the tongue.

Gold has had its advocates as an internal remedy; among whom is M. Duparcque, who speaks highly of the terchloride of gold. I have never used it myself as an internal agent, and can, therefore, say nothing

about it.

From the power that iodine exerts in certain diseases, it was for some time looked upon as a

*Walshe On Cancer, p. 201.

+ Henry's Velpeau on Diseases of the Breast, p. 456.


certain remedial agent in cancer; but these hopes did not continue long. Velpeau says:-" Personally, I have never tried, internally, either the tincture of iodine, or iodine itself, as a remedy for cancer, but I have frequently employed the iodide, of potassium, of iron, and of starch. I have certainly prescribed the iodide of potassium in several hundred cases; and the truth is, I have never seen this remedy assist, to any evident extent, the cure of a single scirrhous, of a single encephaloid, of a single chondroid, or fibro-plastic, melanotic, or epithelial cancer, whether in the mamma or elsewhere.

The efficacy of the iodide, of starch and of iron, has been just as negative as that of the iodide of potassium; and Ullmann, who states that he has cured so many patients by means of this remedy, since the year 1823, is plainly mistaken, or under a delusion on the subject."*

Notwithstanding the opinion of such a man as Velpeau, we have evidence from Majendie, Copland, and others as to its efficacy. Under these conflicting opinions, I am inclined to believe, with Mr. Walshe," that a middle opinion is that which careful observation and inquiry justify."+

*Henry's Velpeau on Diseases of the Breast, p. 458.

Walshe On Cancer, p. 199.

The preparations of iron owe their celebrity to the writings of Mr. Carmichael. Although there has

been no actual proof of any cases having been cured by these agents, yet there is no doubt that much good has been done in alleviating the sufferings in this disease, and in prolonging life.

The preparations of copper have been but little used of late years. Velpeau, in writing on this subject, says: "Under the name of the Resolvent Fluid of Kachlin, an ammoniacal solution of copper has been stated to cure cancer; and since some practitioners assured me that its reputation was well founded, I felt it my duty to give it a trial. The result by no means answered my wishes. Of the 150 women to whom I have hitherto prescribed it, not one has experienced the slightest benefit; and if I still employ it occasionally, it is entirely because I do not wish to leave unfortunate patients, who may consult me, destitute of hope."*

Aconite, hyoscyamus, stramonium, hydrocyanic acid, &c. &c., have all been extensively tried, and all have had their supporters; but they do not deserve any attention as remedial agents further than their sedative action.

Alkalies, or antacids, were at one time in

vogue, I

*Henry's Velpeau on Diseases of the Breast, p. 456.

suppose, upon the idea that cancer was the effect or result of acids. Alliott says:-"The cure of cancer consists in the mortification of acids by alkalines and absorbents."*

"Alkaline substances, which have also enjoyed some popularity, merit nothing more than the obscurity into which they have fallen. No one now-a-days seriously recommends, as curative in cancers, the waters of Vichy or the bicarbonate of soda."+

Notwithstanding Velpeau's opinion of antacids, yet we find that there are still men who believe in their efficacy. For within the last year I have had several patients who had been treated by means of alkalies used internally and externally.

Animal substances have been extensively used, and, if we could believe all the statements of their advocates, with success. But Velpeau, when writing on cod-liver oil as a remedial agent for cancer, says-"I have employed it, for in such cases it is allowable to try anything, and have administered considerable doses of it for months together, to patients at all periods of life, and in all varieties of cancer; but have found this remedy, which is so useful in a vast number of affections of the bones and of the lym

*Traité du Cancer, p. 126. 1698.

+ Henry's Velpeau on Diseases of the Breast, p. 457.

phatic system, altogether inefficacious against can


Animal charcoal has been tried, and found to be worthless. Milk in which figs have been boiled has been lately a popular remedy; and, although it may appear an absurd one, yet it is not more so than the recommendation of boiled carrots as a diet and also as external applications, which has been followed out in one of our public charities for some years past, but, as might have been expected, with but little success. The grey lizard (Lacerta agilis) was first prescribed in this disease by Flores, a Mexican physician, in 1781. Bayle states that a patient of his, affected with a cancerous tumour in the face, swallowed upwards of four • hundred grey lizards in the course of two months, without obvious effect of any kind.

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Having briefly glanced at a few of the remedial agents employed in hopes of curing this disease, and having seen how inefficacious they all are, we shall now see what has been proposed as external remedies, and the results following their use.

Leeching has been in vogue from a very early date, and many practitioners of the present day highly recommend it. In my opinion, it is always injurious in this disease. I have lately seen cases of

*Henry's Velpeau on Diseases of the Breast, p. 458.

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