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Skin wound and ostomy care

The Skin, Wound and Ostomy Care Department at Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA), Philadelphia, addresses certain issues that may arise during cancer treatment, including:

  • Tumor wounds, surgical wounds and pressure injuries (bed sores)
  • Skin irritation/burns from radiation therapy (radiation dermatitis)
  • Ostomy care (pre-op education, after colostomy, ileostomy, urostomy, complications or difficult stomas)
  • Oral thrush or mouth ulcers (stomatitis) from chemotherapy
  • Complications from the placement of drainage catheters and percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) tubes

The skin, wound and ostomy care team consists of certified nurses who work closely with your nurses, surgeons, gastroenterologists, dietitians, oncology rehabilitation therapists and other clinicians.

A primary focus of the department is prevention and education. As experts in wound and ostomy care, your nurses provide education and support before and after certain procedures or treatments. The team may also teach you self-care techniques for once you return home.

The team addresses a variety of needs, including how to prevent bed sores, proper dressing for wounds, odor control for ostomies, questions about showering, and lotions to use during radiation therapy.

In addition to basic skin, wound and ostomy care, the team provides palliative care to improve comfort. Team members also collaborate regularly with the hospital’s Education Department for ongoing staff education.

The department treats patients with a variety of different cancer types, including inflammatory or recurring breast cancer, colorectal cancer, and head and neck cancer. Your care manager is typically the one who schedules your appointments in the department.