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Malignant Wounds




Many cancer patients live with the knowledge that their disease is progressing and incurable. For a significant minority of these people this reality can be present in the form of a malodorous, exuding, necrotic skin lesion that is a constant physical reminder of disease progression (Mortimer 1998; Englund 1993). These lesions are often referred to as 'fungating' or malignant wounds. The problems associated with a malignant wound can have a devastating effect on a person's physical, psychological and social wellbeing and can cause a marked decline in quality of life.


Contents include

  • Introduction
  • Clarifying the terminology
  • Malignant wound development
  • Incidence of malignant wounds
  • Wound-related signs and symptoms
    • Malodour
    • Exudate
    • Pain
    • Bleeding
    • Dressing-related problems
  • Assessment of malignant wounds
    • General assessment
    • Summary of assessment
  • Management of malignant wounds
    • Principles of management
    • Elements of management
    • Role of cancer therapies
    • Dressings and other measures
      • General
      • Wound cleaning
      • Malodour
      • Exudate
      • Bleeding
      • Pain
      • Itching and skin irritation
  • Psychosocial problems
  • Conclusion
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Author / Editor Biographies

Wayne Naylor is a New Zealand registered nurse who began his career in forensic psychiatry before moving into general surgery, and then to reconstructive plastic surgery and burns. After a move to the United Kingdom, Wayne worked at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London where he gained further qualifications in cancer nursing. For a little over three years Wayne was employed as the wound-management research nurse at the Marsden, a role that involved research, clinical patient care, education, and quality-assurance activities related to wound management in cancer patients. Wayne has published se...

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