Aim: Cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC) of the head and neck is preferentially treated with primary surgical excision. We present a case of an advanced lesion appearing to respond to homeopathic supplementation with bitter apricot seed and hedge apple.
Background: Our patient presented with a large, biopsy-proven cSCC of the right nasal ala. Her workup revealed a synchronous primary lung adenocarcinoma necessitating delayed management of the cutaneous lesion. In the interim, she self-treated with oral bitter apricot seed and hedge apple supplements.
Case description: The patient demonstrated significant involution of the cutaneous lesion, and eventual surgical resection was negative for carcinoma.
Conclusion: The literature has in vitro evidence for the antiproliferative properties of compounds derived from hedge apples. Bitter apricot seed has little evidence supporting anticancer activity and is not recommended due to the risk of cyanide toxicity. However, there is little alternative explanation for her dramatic response other than these substances.
Clinical significance: We describe a case of cSCC of the head and neck that appears to have responded to bitter apricot seed and hedge apple.
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