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At our National Cancer Information Center trained Cancer Information Specialists can answer questions 24 hours a day, every day of the year to empower you with accurate, up-to-date information to help you make educated health decisions. We connect patients, caregivers, and family members with valuable services and resources.
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A wound is a physical injury to the body that causes damage to the structure of the area injured. The wound may be under the skin, may affect only the skin surface, or might affect the skin surface and beneath it.
Types of wounds include an incision (cut) from surgery, a laceration (cut) from a sharp object, or a bruise, tear, fracture or other injury that is under the skin, in a muscle or tendon, or on a bone or organ. A wound can be caused by a medical procedure, fall or accident, tumor growth, or pressure on bony areas. Proper care for a wound is important to protect it from infection and help it heal.
Scars form as wounds to the skin heal. They are a natural part of the healing process as the body mends damage from skin that has been cut. The new tissue formed by a scar will have a different feel and texture than the skin around it.
Let your cancer care team know if you notice any wounds so they can be cared for promptly.
The American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team
Our team is made up of doctors and oncology certified nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as journalists, editors, and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.
Abrahm, JL. Skin problems. In A Physician’s Guide to Pain and Symptom Management in Cancer Patients. Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press; 2014:469-472
Bhattacharya S, Mishra RK. Pressure ulcers: Current understanding and newer modalities of treatment. Indian Journal of Plastic Surgery. 2015; 48(1):4–16.
Brant JM, Stringer LH. Wounds. In Brown CG, ed. A Guide to Oncology Symptom Management. 2nd ed. Pittsburgh, PA: Oncology Nursing Society; 2015:377-378
Last Revised: February 1, 2020
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