Fungating wounds are a complication of cancer and may develop in patients with advanced disease. They are caused by direct infiltration of the skin, tissues, mucosa, blood or lymph vessels by a tumour or metastatic deposit. They can be painful, produce high levels of exudate, cause bleeding and be malodourous. Management rather than healing is the objective of wound care, and management is complex. This article discusses the characteristics, symptoms and impact of fungating wounds on the patient and their family/carers.