Bee Venom Therapy for Skin Cancer

You know me. I’m the one who, in a conversation about too much sun, says, “I’m not worried. I have dark skin and I tan right away. I never burn.”

A few years ago I noticed a sore on my forehead. I thought I’d burned myself with a curling iron. But months later the sore kept breaking open. When I mentioned it during an annual exam, my doctor had it tested. Then the dreaded phone call: skin cancer, a basal cell carcinoma. Surgery was scheduled: a scraping-or scrapings-layer by layer, followed by a test to determine when all the layers with cancer cells had been removed.

Meanwhile, my husband, Jim, had neck and shoulder pain from a car accident. Nothing helped. Then a friend, Kristine Jacobson, persuaded him to try bee therapy. “Nothing else is working,” she grinned. “It can’t hurt!” After a consultation, Jim started on the bee products and bee stings, with immediate results. During one session, he mentioned that I had skin cancer. Two days later Kristine was peppering my sore with bee stings. First one sting, then 2, then 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 stings, in and around the sore.

Surgery day. During the numbing time the doctor noted, “Numb deeply-this has been here too long. We’ll need to do more than one scrape.” After one scrape I joined other patients who had bandages on their nose, eyes, cheeks, ears, and neck and were waiting for further-2nd, 3rd, even 4th-scrapings. Finally I heard my results: they got everything the first time.

While I was being stitched, the doctor asked what I’d been doing. Had I been poking the sore? There were dead cells or scars all around the cancer cells. “Bee stings,” I whispered. Silence. All I heard was a needle stitching my forehead. Finally, he said, under his breath. “Sometimes our bodies do weird things just to protect themselves.” That conversation was over!

Later, when having the stitches removed, I learned that the numbness in my forehead might last two years before the feeling returned, so I’d probably want to have plastic surgery and have the other eyebrow pulled higher to make both of them seem more even. I looked like a monster. My eyebrow was shaped like an upside-down ‘V,’ and the scar was terrible. Fortunately I had long bangs.

I went back to Kristine’s house three times a week. As I was numb anyway, there was no reason not to sting. Again the stings: on top of my head, on my forehead, and on the scar. Within a month the feeling was back and my eyebrow began relaxing. Now I can’t find the scar, and I don’t need plastic surgery. Today Jim and I say, “Thank God for the bees, and thank God for Christine.”

- Ann Ashby, Michigan
April 01, 2009