Fungating cancer wounds may also be called malignant wounds. A fungating wound is when cancer that is growing under the skin breaks through the skin to create a wound.
As the cancer grows, it blocks and damages tiny blood vessels, which can starve the area of oxygen. This causes the skin and underlying tissue to die (necrosis). There may also be infection, and areas of the wound may become ulcerated.
Fungating wounds are rare, and most people who have cancer will never develop a fungating wound. They can develop in the area of the primary cancer (where the cancer started) or the secondary cancer or metastasis (when the cancer has spread to another part of the body). If a fungating wound does develop, it's most likely to happen with breast cancer, head and neck cancer and melanoma.