Post-Operative Care of Mammary Cancer


In patients who must needs have an operation for cancer of the breast the fact must be borne in mind, that subsequent care is of vital importance. Three things, especially must be considered. The first is, the exclusion from the blood of every possible toxic agent and the subsequent retention of a perfectly pure state of the blood. Quite recently there is an accumulation of evidence in favor of the fact that certain of our vegetable remedies have a great deal of power in destroying all those principles within the blood which promote the development of cancer.

At the same time these remedies by some peculiar subtle influence which is difficult to understand, increase the oxygenation of the blood, restore the oxygen carrying power of the blood, and increase the power of the blood to destroy these toxines. Echinacea, I am assured, of all of these remedies, has the power to raise the opsonic index.

The third important thing to be considered, is that the patient must avoid pregnancy. The clinical fact has long been recognized that the physiological stimulus furnished to the mammary glands by the pregnant condition causes the germs which may still be lodged there to take on a specially malignant character. It is the physician's positive duty to inform the patient of the danger in these cases and advise against it.

Those patients therefore in whom the disease does not appear until after the menopause are especially favored. With these there should be less liability to the return of the difficulty. One writer believes that the removal of the ovaries in severe cases, before the menopause, will contribute materially to a spontaneous cure of the condition.

Ellingwood's Therapeutist, Vol. 2, 1908, was edited by Finley Ellingwood M.D.