Cutaneous Metastases: A Case Study on Clinical Care for Patients

Sarah M. Padden

Elizabeth J. Abraham

Elene Viscosi

Karleen R. Habin

Debra M. Lundquist
cutaneous metastases, distress, symptom management, nursing interventions, cancer
CJON 2020, 24(3), 320-323. DOI: 10.1188/20.CJON.320-323

Cutaneous metastases (CMs) signal the spread of a primary tumor to the skin and dermis, particularly in patients with melanoma or with breast, lung, or gastrointestinal cancers. Although these lesions may present as superficial and painless, some CMs may lead to ulceration, drainage, and discomfort, causing distress to patients. Oncology nurses require knowledge about the clinical presentation of CMs, including incidence, pathophysiology, diagnostic evaluation, and complex symptomatology, as well as standard treatment and care for patients. In addition, nurses can provide psychosocial interventions to assist patients experiencing distress from CM lesions.


  • It is important for nurses to be aware of and educated on how to care for patients with CMs so that they can provide interventions to limit patient distress.
  • Nursing assessments of CMs should include an evaluation of patients’ psychosocial concerns to ensure that supportive care needs are met.
  • Increasing nursing knowledge of wound care management for patients who develop CMs can improve outcomes.
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