Editorial – Portrait of the Carcinosin Personality.
-Dr. Praful Barvalia

The theme of nosodes is interesting for various reasons. It teaches us not only about nosodes, but also about our basic approach to materia medica. These are the forces of our armamentorium packed with tremendous power.

Being prepared from disease product, they represent the dynamic potential of germs, host and their interactions. This makes them powerful as well as complex. Equally complex is their application in practice. It represents one of the several contradictions of our professional conduct. Some physicians use them simply as intercurrent, some glorify their indications and utilise more than required. How do we use them judiciously? How do we get accurate and comprehensive guidelines for application in practise? How do we build up a portrait of these remedies?

The great master, Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, the scientist & the artist, directed homoeopathic physicians to pay attention to deviations from the former healthy state of the now diseased individual and recognize the true and only conceivable portrait of the disease (Aph.6). An artist sensitively receives impressions of the subject and projects this experience on the canvas. A portrait thus becomes a task demanding sensitivity, authenticity and integrity of the artist along with mastery over skills and methods and techniques he employs to give expression to his perceptions. In contrast to an artist, the portrait drawn by a Homoeopathic physician is quite dynamic. It needs to incorporate ongoing clinical experiences of patients which may demand continuous modifications. In order to ensure fineness and depth of portrait it is important that it has multiple facets and evolutionary perspectives. This is possible provided the physician has sound conceptual base to analyze and synthesize clinical experiences integrating psychosomatic, clinicopathological aspects.

Portrait of Carcinosin is a great illustration in this regard. The profession is immensely grateful to Foubister for his excellent work on this drug.

Perfectionism / fastidious nature is an important trait in this remedy. We need to have a qualitative understanding of the trait and psychodynamic dissection of the portrait. How can we achieve that?

by undertaking in-depth study of psychosomatic profile of patients suffering from Cancer especially the pre-illness phase.
by verifying these abstractions through psychodynamic study of clinical cases of Carcinosin.

Cancer is the expression of a disorganizing action of diverse external influences. Disorganization, perfection and integrity are the main theme in the Carcinosin personality.

Psychosomatic profile of the patients suffering from Cancers reveals traumatic childhood; although in later life they claim it to be uneventful. Rejection from parent or sibling through death or desertion is some of the significant childhood experiences. How they are dealt with so that in later life you push them down and evolve as earnest, serious, responsible individuals? Denial of emotional attachments leading to dampening of spontaneity, loss of pleasures and inhibitions of free expressions would be natural outcomes

When we examine clinical experiences of Carcinosin, we see parallels. Although they possess refined sensitivity and artistic talent, the Carcinosin personality shows repression and denial as powerful ego defenses around which various psychic and somatic patterns manifest themselves. This becomes fertile soil giving way to aberrant or depressed immune responses leading to prolonged severe inflammatory illnesses or hypersensitivity disorders. Rather than getting fascinated by a sweet, sensitive and precocious child, one needs to be critical to perceive these faulty defenses evolving in formative years.

Foubister spoke of strict parental control in Carcinosin children. What are its implications? We see many physicians making hurried premature equations of this observation with strong indication for Carcinosin. This results in failure. Have we critically examined what is the degree and level of identification this child has with parents? Quite often we discover a rigid conservative set up with strong moral values. Parents work situation also appears disciplinarian and ethical. Perfectionist parents demand excellent output. This gives way to perfectionist, obsessive, fastidious, serious, conscientious traits of Carcinosin. We need to develop strong conceptual base to perceive the totality of disposition.

As mentioned earlier, the process of portrait formation by the physician is dynamic. His updating of clinical experiences should be rational. The process of perception demands artistic inclinations, while its reflection demands total submission to the scientific discipline. Portrait formation takes into account abstractions as well as hard facts. He should verify repeatedly his findings in the practice. In the absence of clinical insight and verifications; speculative, fanciful interpretations prove dangerous to Homoeopathic physician as the song of sirens (siren is one of a number of winged women whose songs charmed sailors and caused their destruction) in Greek mythology. It will not be improper to repeat the words of caution: Homoeopathic prescribers should be on their toes, as soon as he chooses to leave hard facts on the earth for charming clouds of interpretations where the sky is the only limit!

This is the time when genetics has achieved a recognized role as a core discipline that deals with human variability and human heredity and has given fresh insight about the inner nature of diseases, their causes, concomitants, course and consequences. A homoeopathic physician wedded to holistic perspective cannot afford to ignore this discipline.