Bees Wax and Cancer

Beeswax and the cure for cancer


Radiation is a useful tool for treating certain types of cancerous tumors, and in recent years radiation therapy has grown as a field in leaps and bounds.


Radiation is usually administered in the form of high energy X”‘rays produced by linear accelerators, or in the form of gamma rays produced by a source of radioactive cobalt”‘60.  At Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Mass.  we have two linear accelerators and one cobalt”‘60 machine, with which we treat over 100 patients per day.


One of the wonderful properties of beeswax is that it is “tissue equivalent,” meaning that radiation behaves in beeswax he same way it would in human tissue (paraffin wax on the other hand, being petroleum based, is much less tissue equivalent).  Because beeswax can be heated and softened, it is used in radiation therapy as a “bolus” material.  By filling certain deficits in a patient’s skin contour with beeswax bolus we “trick” the radiation into delivering a more uniform dose at a specific depth inside the body.  Basically we change the shape of the patient with the beeswax in a small area to make the radiation do what we want it to do.


When we receive a shipment of beeswax it must be totally melted and strained to get it as pure and clean as possible.  Once some has been used, it is saved, heated, and combined with other beeswax for another patient.  If bees only knew just how helpful they are to us!


Kevin Reynolds, Senior Dosimetrist

Dept. of Medical Physics

Baystate Medical Center

Springfield, Mass.



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