Malignant wounds are also known as malignant tumors, malignant fungating wounds, cancerous wounds, or ulcerating wounds. Most malignant wounds develop in cancers that affect the breast, head, neck, skin and groin and anal areas, but can also occur anywhere on the body.
Malignant wounds occur when underlying cancer causes a wound to erupt through the skin. Sometimes, the malignancy starts in the epithelial cells of the body to form a wound. The malignancy may be of a primary origin or can spread from other parts of the body to form a new secondary cancer on another part of the body and may or may not produce a wound. In any event, wound surgeons diagnosis is required to determine whether or not any wound on a cancer patient is related to the malignancy.
In many cases, the wound itself raises suspicion of malignancy, for example, when a patient who has no previous diagnosis of cancer has a non-healing malignant wound.
Unless the cancer is eradicated, these wounds fail to heal, and so the aim of care is to maintain optimum control of the symptoms these wounds can produce, such as malodor, high levels of exudate, and increased levels of pain, while protecting the surrounding skin from additional damage from poor malignant wound treatment and choices.