In 1888 a single woman, 37 years of age, noticed a small lump in the left breast on which she had received a blow some three years CancerCuredHeadlinepreviously. In 1890 the breast was removed, and scirrhous cancer diagnosed after microscopical examination. There were recurrences in 1892 and 1894 which were operated on, a tumor in the right breast being also removed on the last occasion.

Some ten months later (December, 1894) there were some recurrent nodules, and, as the patient was suffering from considerable dyspnoea, further operation was considered out of the question.

She was admitted into the Cancer Wards of the Middlesex Hospital under Mr. Lawson in January, 1895, when it was noted that she had nodules and enlarged glands in the left armpit and above the left collar-bone, as well as hard nodules in the right breast and armpit.

There was dullness over the base of the right lung, and the patient suffered from severe paroxysms of shortness of breath. She saw her monthly courses for the last time shortly after admission. During the whole of this year (1895) she appears to have got steadily worse, and a swelling occurred in the left thigh-bone, which spontaneously fractured.

When the patient came under Mr. Gould’s care in March, 1896, all the symptoms above mentioned were exaggerated, and there was shortening of the thigh. Secondary growths were diagnosed in the right lung and in the left femur, and a speedily fatal issue was anticipated.

This patient was exhibited before the Clinical Society on November 7th, 1896, and on April 28th, 1899. On the latter occasion, the only remains of her illness consisted apparently in the lameness due to the shortening of her thigh.

There was no evidence of cancer whatsoever.

The treatment adopted at one time or another had consisted in inhalations of chloroform, ether and pine oil, as well as the internal administration of creosote, bromide of ammonium, bismuth and hydrobromic acid, phenacetin, quinine, antipyrin, caffeine, salicylate of soda, iodide of potassium, iron and senega.

  • Creosotes are a category of carbonaceous chemicals formed by the distillation of various tars, and by pyrolysis of plant-derived material, such as wood or fossil fuel
  • Ammonium bromide, NH₄Br, is the ammonium salt of hydrobromic acid. The chemical crystallizes in colorless prisms, possessing a saline taste; it sublimes on heating and is easily soluble in water.
  • Bismuth is a chemical element with symbol Bi and atomic number 83. Bismuth, a pentavalent post-transition metal, chemically resembles arsenic and antimony. Elemental bismuth may occur naturally, although its sulfide and oxide form important commercial ores.
  • Phenacetin is a pain-relieving and fever-reducing drug, which was widely used between its introduction in 1887 and the 1983 ban imposed by the FDA on its use in the United States
  • Quinine is a medication used to prevent and treat malaria and to treat babesiosis.
  • Potassium iodide (KI) is a chemical compound that can be used to protect the thyroid gland from possible radiation injury caused by radioactive iodine
  • Polygala senega is a species of flowering plant in the milkwort family, Polygalaceae. It is native to North America, where it is distributed in southern Canada and the central and eastern United States


1. The Cure of Cancer and how Surgery Blocks the Way
By John Shaw

2. Wikipedia