The following is a summary of “Fungating Malignancies: Management of a Distinct Wound Entity,” published in the December 2022 issue of Critical care by Kondra, et al.

For a study, researchers sought to describe the experiences of two institutions with this disease process to fill the knowledge gap about the management of malignant fungating wounds, and then suggest ways to enhance care.

A total of 44 patients with 45 malignant fungating wounds during an 11-year period were reviewed retrospectively by multiple institutions. Analyses were done on the patient’s characteristics, medical history, and results.

Over 13 (29.5%) males and 31 (70.5%) women out of the 44 patients matched the inclusion criteria. 63.0 (SD, 16.1) years old was the average age at presentation. Breast cancer, which accounted for more than half of cases (54.5%), was the most prevalent malignancy. In comparison, the average tumor surface area at the time of discharge or death was 104.6 (SD, 310.7; range, 0-1,800) cm2, while the average tumor surface area at presentation was 110.3 (SD, 215.0; range, 2.2-1,140) cm2. Neither surface area at presentation (P = .504) nor surface area at the time of final follow-up (P = .472) were significantly linked with death within the each time period.

The advantages of palliative surgery, which lessens the effects of an open wound, should not be disregarded in the age of developing technology and medical innovation. Both the patient and their relatives stand to gain from bettering end-of-life care. As surgeons, they worked toward a physical cure, yet offering palliative resection to allow for a dignified death may be the most compassionate treatment of all.