Cancer Basics

Cancer Basics

Contact hours
On Demand

Caring for patients with cancer can be challenging, especially for new oncology nurses or those working outside of cancer care. This introductory course provides a foundation for providing care to patients experiencing a cancer diagnosis, treatment complications, or trouble coping. You’ll cover a range of basic topics, from cancer biology, treatments, symptom management, and patient and family care. This course is also a great refresher for experienced cancer nurses.

The course is offered on demand. Instructions on how to immediately access the course will be sent to you in an automatically generated email receipt after you register. You will enjoy continuous access for six months.

Cancer Basics Course Topics

  • What is Cancer?
  • Understanding What Causes Cancer
  • Exploring Cancer Risks, Prevention and Diagnosis
  • Learning About Cancer Treatments: Part 1 Surgery
  • Learning About Cancer Treatments: Part 2 Radiation Therapy
  • Learning About Cancer Treatments: Part 3 Chemotherapy
  • Learning About Cancer Treatments: Part 4 Hormonal, Biologic, and Targeted Therapies
  • Clinical Trials
  • Understanding Complementary and Alternative Medicines (CAM)
  • Symptom Management
  • Recognizing the Psychosocial Aspects of Care
  • A Look at Future Trends in Cancer Care

Oncology Nurse Orientation Bundle

Don't want to choose between courses? This course is included in the Oncology Nursing Orientation Bundle. Save when you purchase these courses together or you may also purchase individually.

You may also be interested in the ONS books Cancer Basics and A Guide to Oncology Symptom Management.

Expected Outcome

Upon completion of this activity, the learner will will demonstrate increased knowledge of cancer and its treatment.

Target Audience

From nurses, nursing students, nursing instructors to industry representatives, case managers, social workers, medical librarians, insurance company claims reviewers, and other healthcare professionals working in oncology, Cancer Basics provides you with a concentrated, self-paced learning experience on the fundamentals of cancer biology, cancer treatment, management of cancer-related symptoms, and patient and family care.

ILNA Breakdown

Content in this learning activity is applicable to meeting individual requirements for certification renewal through the Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation's Individual Learning Needs Assessment (ILNA) renewal method. 

Up to 0.5 ILNA points may be applied to End-of-Life OR Psychosocial OR Survivorship.

Up to 1 ILNA points may be applied to Professional Practice OR Treatment OR Preparative Regimens. 

Up to 1.5 ILNA points may be applied to Scientific Basis for Practice OR Symptom Management.

Up to 2.4 ILNA points may be applied to Disease-Related Biology OR Health Promotion/Screening and Early Detection.

No more than 6.4 total points may be claimed for the program.

Learning Objectives
  • Describe how mutations lead to the formation of cancer.
  • State the seven warning signs of cancer.
  • Distinguish primary prevention from secondary prevention.
  • Distinguish cure, control, and palliation as treatment goals.
  • Describe three potential side effects related to external beam radiotherapy.
  • Compare the mechanisms of action of chemotherapy and anti-angiogenesis therapy.
  • Distinguish elements in a collaborative management plan for pain control.
  • Describe nutritional modifications to minimize diarrhea and anorexia/cachexia.
  • State interventions to minimize fatigue in a patient with cancer.
  • Describe cancer as a chronic disease.
  • Identify national goals to treat cancer as a chronic disease.
  • State major challenges to effective coping for patients with cancer and their families.

The Oncology Nursing Society is accredited with distinction as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's (ANCC) Commission on Accreditation.

ONS is approved as a provider of continuing education by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider #2850.

Individual Pricing Options


Group purchases are available

 Registering for 10 or more people? Group discounts are available for this course.

To find out more, contact ONS customer service at or 866-257-4667, option 2. Our office hours are Monday through Friday from 8:30 am–5 pm EST.

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