Imatges de pÓgina

and an increased constipation of the bowels will often be experienced for a day or two after an occurrence of this kind."

p. 87.


Dr. Rodman compares this to the action of cold on the female brea: t.

“When the body is much cooled, either by the action on the trunk, or by the cooling process on the extremities, the sense of chilliness is stronger in the diseased breast than in any sound part. Each chill is felt in its passage, and lodges in the breast with painful sensations." p. 88.

Dr. Rodman instances the disease commonly called a "weed," originating, as is well known, in cold caught during the puerperal state; a condition of body susceptible of atmospheric transactions.

We shall condense a few of Dr. Rodman's cases, for the sake of showing his practice. At page 93 commences the case of Mrs. H. aged 30, mother of three children. After having been fatigued by washing, and exposed during perspiration to currents of air, she was affected with a glandular swelling in the right breast, which resisted the usual applications for three months, when our author was consulted.

Upon examining the part, the tumour was found to be oval, and nearly three inches in length. All the breast was swelled and tender, containing a number of distinct tumours scattered over different portions of the gland. Numbers of the lymphatic vessels were tight and bulky, the axillary glands were very large, and the surrounding substance was tumid, lumpy, and painful.”

Twelve ounces of blood were taken from the arm, and a saline cathartic prescribed. The swelled parts were ordered to be fomented with a decoction of flor. anthem. et ex. hyoscyam.; after which they were to be dried and covered with wool. During a week this plan was continued, when

“—the swelling and tenderness of the mamma were abated -lancinating pains seldom and mild. The relief from pain and uneasiness has had a very happy effect in soothing the mind. The fomentations were resorted to twice a day for a week longer, according as any soreness threatened to return. Mild laxatives were prescribed the breast and shoulder were rubbed with ung. camph. and both were strictly covered with VOL. VI.

2 C

No. 22.

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additional pieces of flannel. In the course of three months there was neither tumour nor induration in the mamma, nor swelled gland in the axilla, and twelve months afterwards there was no return of the complaint."

The next case adduced was of long standing before our author was applied to, and several medical men had been previously consulted.

« The first said, that the disease had all the symptoms of cancer, and advised her to the use of mercury. The second, that it was not yet cancer, but would soon be cancer. The third had no hesitation in saying it was cancer, and was sorry to add that there was no remedy; for though the breast were cut, the disease would return."

After this she had taken mercury, and used cooling applications to the part, which greatly aggravated the complaint. Dr. Rodman ordered the bowels to be opened, and a cataplasm, composed of chamomile decoction, lintseed meal, and a solution of mur. ammon. in which had been dissolved ex. hyoscy. to be kept to the parts.

In three days the swelling and pains were abated, and the poultice was only applied during the hours of sleep. The day time, the parts were occasionally rubbed with the tinct. saponis, and covered with cotton wool, after being washed with warm soft water, and dried, page 102. In a little time her mind became more tranquil as the corporeal disorder subsided, and in a short time she perfectly recovered.

The sixth chapter is a recapitulation of the preceding, and defies analysis, which, however, is unnecessary. Our author has strangely enough pitched upon this chapter to introduce the great body of his cases, some of which we shall briefly notice. The first, (p. 112) is that of a young female Highlander with a tumour in the left breast, accompanied by pains of a darting nature, and swelling and soreness in the glands of the arm-pit. She had been accustomed to a sedentary life, and was advised by our author to change it for a more active one, -to frequent a medicinal spring in his neighbourhood, to keep her bowels open, and pay attention to general warmth of clothing, and particularly to preserve a uniform temperature iv the diseased gland by local coverings of flannel.

“ In a few months, the mammary tumour vanished, as well as the tumours in the arm-pit.”

The next case, p. 115, is that of a young woman, who had received a blow on the breast, succeeded by hardness and swelling. After hearing that a breast was amputated in the neighbourhood, her's became suddenly worse, and on apply, ing to the operator was advised to have the tuinour removed by the knife. In six days after this, the glandular swelling was of course much aggravated, and her mind was greatly disturbed.

“From the good state of her health, I had every reason to assure her that she had no danger to fear, providing she cover. ed the breast with one or two folds of flannel, and took care to bathe it frequently with warm vinegar.” She speedily lost all trace of disease.

In a chapter on the propriety of extirpating mammary tu. mours, there are many sensible remarks and shrewd observations. The following extract merits insertion.

« It deserves to be remarked, that a considerate surgeon is usually more averse, after he is advanced in life, and the knowledge produced by practice, to advise extirpation for a recent tumour of the mamma, than in early life with less experience. This circumstance would almost prove, that practical observations, in the treatment of such tumours, occasion fewer fears than those that are roused from the speculative notions entertained at first. When his mind is impressed with them, he is very apt to consider every bulky absorbent gland, whether swelled by cold or enlarged by common inflammation, as infected by some unknown but deadly agent. Hence the patient is liable to undergo a painful operation for the cutting out of all these enlarged glands; or may be doomed to a state of fatal misery, from hearing that the distemper is pronounced incurable, which leaves her without hope, and subjects her to the destructive influence of despondency. Yet the absorbent glands, as may be seen from the foregoing cases, are often swelled in a few hours, and with proper management, the swelling can be 'subdued in an ordinary space of time.” p. 195.

The ninth chapter is on “ the Ulcer of the Mammary Induration, commonly called Open Cancer,” and our author's theoretical explanations of the phenomena are mysteriously sublime, and most happily unintelligible. The following is one of the most luminous passages.

“ The over abundance of matter causes a greater proportion


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to be settled, and to adhere upon the surface, where, by the activity of the putrefactive process, to which this ulceration is disposed, encouraged by the power of animal heat, and the septic application used, it soon corrupts. The corruption increases the acrimony of this matter, and that again the diseased action, until the general health, and in some instances, the bones be seriously infected.p. 203.

Thus, gentle reader, you have explained to you, the malignant nature of cancerous ulceration, by a man who is the avowed enemy of all men of genius or theoretical speculation!

But the goal of our analysis is in view, and we must give our readers as much of the useful matter as possible. As an application for correcting the peculiar fætor of a cancerous sore, Dr. Rodman recommends it to be washed with tepid infusions of gentian, columba, or chamomile.

“ A poultice of chamomile flowers, when properly stewed and softened, is peculiarly efficacious. The state of such a patient is greatly improved by drinking a sufficient quantity of port wine, and using a poultice of this kind at the same time. It should be made to surround the breast, and ought to be renewed every six or eight hours till the fætor is subdued, washing the ulceration at each removal with some of the bitter infusions, by means of a syringe. During this, however, it is necessary to preserve an agreeable degree of bodily warmth, and to keep the bowels open.” p. 206.

When the fætor is subdued, the ulcerated surface may be covered with antiseptic powders, as cinchona, and several bitter roots, washing the parts as before. In this way, chalybeate powders may be used with advantage.

We have now exhibited the prominent traits of the work beforé us. We think Dr. Rodman has entirely failed in his elucidation of cancer; but that his work is extremely useful for the great body of general practitioners, as it will show them, that numerous indurations of the female breast, which have hitherto been considered as schirrhi, may be successfully treated, by a few simple remedies, without alarming themselves or their patients with the frightful name of Cancer.

Observations on the distinguishing Symptoms of three different

Species of Pulmonary Consumption, the Catarrhal, the Apostematous, and the Tuberculous; with some Remarks on the Remedies and Regimen best fitted for the Prevention, Removal, or Alleviation of each Species. By ANDREW DUNCAN,

Senior, M. D. &c. &c. 8vo. pp. 169. Edinburgh, 1813. [From the London New Medical and Physical Journal, for October, No

vember and December, 1814.] Long and gloomy is the catalogue of physical sufferings to which man, placed at an immeasurable distance above other animals, by his characteristic excellencies of material organization, and by the exclusive attributes of reason and intelligence, stands incessantly exposed:-heavy the tribute which, at the shrine of eternal and unerring justice, he is called upon to pay for this proud pre-eminence in the scale of created being. Civilization too, with all her charms and blandishments, introduces among her favoured children a train of evils and diseases, which are almost unknown to the more wild and rugged walks of savage life.

Amid the sufferings and the diseases which this catalogue exhibits to our view, pulmonary consumption stands inscribed in distinguished characters of terror and devastation. Fifty-five thousand victims are said to be swept off annually by it, from the soil of Britain. This is, we trust, an exaggerated statement. With the vulgar, every malady, of which extreme emaciation constitutes a striking feature, however different its origin and essence, is designated by one familiar and indiscriminate term. And medical men, we fear, too frequently cloak beneath that chilling and portentous name, "consumption,” their own carelessness or inefficiency; and thus prematurely quench every hope still fondly cherished in the bosom of friendship and of affection.

Yet terrible-most terrible, not merely from their extent, but from their peculiar nature and severity, are the ravages committed by this relentless foe of human happiness and enjoyment. Her meagre and unsparing hand plucks not the hoary weeds, the fruitless thorns and brambles of our worldly wilder


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