Managing Complex Fungating Wounds
A cancer diagnosis can be devastating for any patient, especially when complicated by a fungating wound¹. Fungating wounds arise from primary, secondary or recurrent malignant disease and are associated with advanced cancer. Treatment is usually palliative, management aims to slow disease progression and optimise quality of life by alleviating distressing physical symptoms, such as copious exudate, malodour, pain and haemorrhage through selection of appropriate dressings and topical agents².
The impact of a malignant fungating wound on a patient’s life cannot be underestimated. It can have a devastating effect on their physical, psychological and social status as well as impacting on family and friends.
Nurses must gain the patient’s confidence in order to find an acceptable wound management product. Finding a dressing regime to manage all the symptoms of malignant wounds is a challenge in itself and it is important for professionals to share their experiences³.
This case study describes the care of a young man following surgical excision and grafting after diagnosis of an aggressive melanoma to his face.