Climate Change and Oncology Nursing: A Call to Action

Erin Dickman

Chelsea Backler

Christine D. Berg

Marsha Komandt

Joan Schiller

climate change, sustainability, environmental factors
CJON 2022, 26(1), 109-113. DOI: 10.1188/22.CJON.109-113

Climate change is a public health crisis that amplifies exposure to known carcinogens, leading to increased cases of cancer and other diseases. This clear link is a powerful reason for all oncology nurses concerned with cancer prevention and treatment to be involved in climate change solutions. The purpose of this review is to bring awareness to the consequences climate change has on the incidence and mortality of cancer, how it affects people living with cancer, and how oncology nurses can help mitigate these suboptimal outcomes. 


  • Effects of climate change have led to increased exposure to air pollution, ultraviolet rays, and environmental toxins; these environmental factors increase the risk of cancer.
  • Nurses have a professional responsibility to promote and protect health, which includes considering the environmental impact of practice.
  • Oncology nurses play an essential role in educating patients on environmental health, identifying sustainable healthcare practices, and acting as environmental stewards and advocates.
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