Where Do Cancer Patients Go for Wound Care Management?

The radiation and chemotherapy involved in fighting cancer also makes it more difficult for wounds to heal. As a result, cancer patients are prone to non-healing wounds, which can create a new and difficult set of complications. How do cancer patients manage wounds? Sometimes, these can be best addressed in a skilled nursing facility where the wound can be carefully monitored.

Bladen East Health and Rehabilitation offers the services cancer patients need for wound care management through our specialized team of experts who have extensive experience in wound care and helping those with non-healing wounds.

We’ll take a closer look at some of the specific challenges cancer patients face in dealing with wound care management, why wound care is so vital, and how Bladen East Health and Rehabilitation’s services can help.

How Do Cancer Patients Manage Wounds?

Cancer patients face extensive challenges when managing wounds. The process of radiation therapy coupled with chemotherapy can cause wounds to heal more slowly, affecting cellular reproduction and tissue repair. As a result, wounds must be carefully monitored to be sure they heal properly.

The most important aspect of managing wounds is to help ensure that they do not become infected. The American Cancer Society offers these protocols cancer patients must follow in order to effectively manage their wounds:

  • Never reuse dressings.
  • Be sure to wash hands before and after changing any wound dressing.
  • Keep the wound clean. This often means washing it every day (unless you have been given other instructions from your health care team).
  • If the wound starts to bleed, it’s important to apply pressure to it in order to stop the bleeding. After the bleeding stops, continue to change the dressing.
  • Always carefully follow instructions when dressing wounds.
  • Immediately change dressings if they get dirty or wet.
  • Only use dressings and supplies that have been approved by your care team.
  • Take antibiotics as instructed.
  • Don’t remove scabs.
  • Avoid scratching at the wound.
  • Eat foods that promote wound healing such as green leafy vegetables, whole grains, fish and eggs.

Where Do Cancer Patients Go for Wound Care Management?

Cancer patients can receive wound care management from several different resources, whether at the hospital, as an outpatient or even through hospice care. There are, however, several advantages to working with a skilled nursing community to assist in wound care.

These advantages include:

  • 24-hour nursing supervision
  • Medication monitoring and management
  • Working closely with the entire health care team
  • Access to the latest wound care (including a wound VAC—which we’ll review later)
  • Assistance with daily activities such as bathing and dressing
  • Regular meals and housekeeping are provided

What Type of Wound is a Malignant Wound?

A wound is considered malignant when cancerous cells invade the epidermis—your outer layer of skin—and affects blood and lymph vessels. As a result, the tissue dies. Malignant wounds can be the result of a primary cancer such as skin cancer, or it may be a result of another type of cancer spreading to the skin.

How Does Bladen East Health and Rehabilitation Help Cancer Patients Manage Wounds?

Sometimes, the task of changing dressings can be difficult, and patients aren’t able to do it alone. Not only is our care team able to assist, but we’re always checking for signs of infection. We’ll work closely with your physicians to ensure you’re getting the highest level of compassionate care. We also have a wound VAC for use if needed.

What is a Wound VAC?

VAC stands for “vacuum-assisted closure.” This is a type of wound care therapy specifically designed to target difficult wounds and help them heal. A wound VAC decreases the amount of air pressure on the wound. This enables it to slowly pull fluid from the wound, reduce swelling and even remove bacteria.

Perhaps one of the greatest advantages is that a wound VAC also enables the edges of a wound to be pulled closer together. This can help stimulate new tissue growth that will help the wound close and heal.

Bladen East Health and Rehabilitation Helps Cancer Patients Manage Wounds

Malignant wounds can be devastating both physically and emotionally—they are difficult and exhausting to manage. In addition, those who are undergoing chemotherapy or radiation treatment are more susceptible to non-healing wounds, meaning even a relatively “minor” injury can cause major problems if not cared for correctly.

In cases like these, a skilled nursing community like Bladen East Health and Rehabilitation in Elizabethtown, NC, has the resources and expertise these cancer patients need to treat their problem or non-healing wounds.

But what makes us different from other skilled nursing facilities?

We’re family owned and operated. This means we have a vested interest in the community, and you won’t be dealing with a mega corporation or large franchise chain. We listen to your needs and address them accordingly through our friendly and experienced staff.

Our employees work closely with your physicians and your health care team to ensure that your treatment plan is followed to the letter, and with 24-hour supervision, we’re always ready to assist you when needed.

Want to know more? Contact us to take a tour.