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Palliative Care Consultations in Gynaeoncology$
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Sara Booth, Eduardo Bruera, and Teresa Tate

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780198528067

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198528067.001.0001

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The management of odours and discharges in gynaecological cancer

The management of odours and discharges in gynaecological cancer

(p.69) Chapter 5 The management of odours and discharges in gynaecological cancer
Palliative Care Consultations in Gynaeoncology

Teresa Tate

Oxford University Press

Society imposes strict rules on the behaviour of a person particularly with personal hygiene. It is often expected that an individual will smell pleasantly, and in the case of discharges it is expected that it will be appropriately concealed to avoid offensive odours. Persons with advanced cancers who are experiencing discharges are often stigmatized by general disgust. The onset of these symptoms has a significant implication for the patient. It influences her sense of worth, her view of herself a social being, and her perception of her illness, which reinforce ill health. This chapter discusses the treatment and management of odours and discharges related to the cancer and cancer treatment. Discharges in patients with gynaecological cancer are mainly because of the breakdown of tissue that causes fluid loss from a necrotic mass of cells and from erosion into a hollow viscus in the bowel or the urinary tract. Odours from these discharges are generally caused by the fluid itself or added infection.

Keywords:   personal hygiene, smell, discharges, offensive odours, management of odours, management of discharges, gynaecological cancer, breakdown of tissue, fluid loss, infection

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