BENIGN MAMMARY TUMORS AND INTESTINAL TOXEMIA*
By William Seaman Bainbridge
•Read at the Thirty-third Annual Meeting of the American Association of Obstetricians, Gynecologists, and Abdominal Surgeons, held at Atlantic City, N. J., September 20-22, 1920.
Wow, just wow. It seemed to be well-known, back in the day, that digestion was key. This physician cured lumpy breasts with adjustments in diet, laxatives, colonic irrigation and enemas. He also cured the condition with various surgeries, occasionally removing cysts but in the majority of cases the surgery was abdominal, removing adhesions and generally rearranging the organs and such. I have chosen to include only those cases that were cured by hygienic methods, if you wish you can follow this link and read all about the cases which required surgery:
American Journal of Obstetrics and gynecology, Volume 1
It is worth noting that Dr. Bainbridge was able to save women's breasts via these abdominal surgeries, in fact saving breasts that had been deemed cancerous by other physicians.
The present paper purposes to record a series of twenty-five eases of abnormal mammary changes apparently caused by autointoxication. When these cases are seen in their early stages the breast condition is often overlooked; when they have developed into a more easily recognized state, frequently a diagnosis of malignant disease is made.
Each of the cases reported herein suffered from a coexistant chronic intestinal toxemia, and the amount of poisoning was reflected, in many instances, in the degree of change in the mammary tissue. When the autointoxication was relieved the breasts either markedly improved or returned entirely to the normal.
These cases classify themselves, more or less, into three groups. 1. Those with a condensation or lobular induration of the upper, outer quadrants of the breasts, usually along the edge of the large pectoral muscle, and where the dependent breast drags on the upper axillary margin. This occurs in both mammae, but more frequently in the left. Such terms as "toxic breasts," "lumpy breasts" or "stasis lumps" are descriptive of this condition. 2. Those cases that have, in addition to the above, and in the same region, localized degeneration with adenomata or cystomata. 3. Those that have an abnormal discharge from the nipple in conjunction with one or the other of the above conditions.
The diminishing of the gastrointestinal fermentation by diet, digestives, intestinal antiseptics, high alkaline colonic irrigations, and certain physiotherapeutic measures, is of distinct value. The use of these agents, together with a support to the breasts and a proper uplifting abdominal corset, often result in a complete disappearance of the breast lumps or tumors. However, some of the cases require surgical intervention of the underlying abdominal condition before the toxic poisoning is sufficiently relieved as to noticeably benefit the breasts.
In those cases where there is a cyst or adenoma in addition to a general lobular condition of the breasts, the removal of the growth and the correction of the intestinal stasis, by medical or surgical means, often result in the mammae becoming completely normal. A preliminary lessening of the general toxic condition, in some cases, materially helped in locating the real existing benign neoplasm, and hence it was made possible to save a considerable amount of curable breast tissue. By this means the patients were saved the mental and physical shock of an unnecessary amputation.
Case 1.—I. I.; age thirty-five; female; single. First seen May 12, 1919. Constipation with usual symptoms of intestinal stasis; backache. On examination, found floating right kidney; general enteroptosis; mass of feces in lower colon; considerable gas in ascending and transverse colon; marked lumpy condition in upper, outer quadrant left breast. Prescribed tonic, laxatives, uplifting corset belt; special abdominal exercises, and general hygienic regime. June, 1920: Patient in excellent health; constipation relieved; no longer any lumps in breast. September 1920, passed examination to enter training school for nurses of large metropolitan hospital.
Case 2.—E. S.; age thirty-three; female; single. First seen September, 1898. Marked constipation; frequent attacks of intestinal gas; distinct lumps in upper, outer quadrant of left breast; nipple normal. Very much worried about cancer. Prescribed diet, cathartics, and support to breasts, with very careful and frequent examination. Six months after treatment was begun lumps in breasts disappeared. For some years, patient noticed that if she became constipated and had "indigestion," there was a return of the lumpy condition. This was relieved by thorough catharsis. August, 1920: Breasts perfectly normal.
Case 3.—J. L.; age thirty; female; single. First seen January, 1919. Subacute attack of rheumatic fever; feet extremely swollen; painful; intestinal indigestion; headaches; nausea; marked constipation. On examination found intestinal stasis; large lumps in both breasts; enlarged glands of neck; swelling of feet and ankles. Prescribed diet; high alkaline colonic irrigations; salicylates, for a short time, cathartics, with physiotherapy as able to take it. September 1920: Under treatment, swelling and pain in joints of feet and elsewhere gradually disappared. Lumps in breasts entirely gone after two months. Twice she allowed herself to become constipated and to be indiscreet with diet and at both times noticed a soreness and distinct lumpy condition of breasts, which disappeared upon resorting to careful treatment.
Case 4.—W. R.; age twenty-eight; female; married. First seen November 27, 1906. Rectal abscess and cyst of perineum removed. In 1919 complained of intestinal gas; loss of weight; constipation; soreness of breasts, worried about cancer. On examination, found gastroptosis; ascending colon and hepatic flexure clogged with fecal matter; considerable gas; distinct lumpy condition throughout breasts, more marked in upper, outer quadrant. Prescribed abdominal and breast supports; laxatives; high alkaline colonic irrigations several times a week; diet; tonic; special exercise. June, 1920: Patient stated she was no longer a "nervous wreck"; when careful of diet and bowels there is no soreness in breasts. Considers herself well. August, 1920: Excellent condition; breasts normal.
Case 5.—A. G.; age forty-eight years; female; married. First seen December 9, 1918. Complained of pain and discomfort in left breast. On examination, found breasts very large, dependent, and the inner quadrant of left one slightly lobulated; no real tumor formation. Prescribed breast support; laxatives, with usual hygienic regime and careful watching. June, 1920: Lumpy condition of breasts entirely relieved—still a little soreness; constipation improved.
1. There are definite abnormal changes in the breast tissue, as in the thyroid gland, from intestinal toxemia.
2. Treatment by medical and mechanical means, or surgical intervention for the cure of the intestinal stasis, often means complete return to the normal of the lumpy or toxic breasts.
3. At times it is necessary to remove a definite, localized tumor from the breast, in addition to the above, before the mammary tissue regains its normal texture.
4. Care must be taken that these abnormal changes are not overlooked in their early stages; and not diagnosticated as cancer when well developed.
5. In this connection, an important question must be noted: Would an early recognition of a toxic breast and timely and efficient treatment of the underlying intestinal causes, tend to lessen the danger of malignant degeneration? If this is so, then we have here an important contributory factor in the etiology of cancer of the breast.