Medicine: Mysterious Salve

One day in 1937, a woman with an enormous cancer of the cheek walked into the office of Dr. Emanuel Louis Stammer of Queens, N.Y. The woman said she had been given many X-ray and radium treatments at Queens General Hospital; none of them seemed to do any good.

Dr. Stammer remembered a "cancer salve" that another patient had given him. He said he had been informed that it contained zinc sulfate, galanga (a Chinese spice), bloodroot and ordinary lanolin. Dr. Stammer, no cancer specialist, had not analyzed the salve. He did not know what effect it would have, but he tried...

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