Cancer Basics

Purchasing more than one course? See Group purchasing.


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 180 days.

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.

Expected Outcomes

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 1 ILNA point may be applied to End-of-Life OR Psychosocial OR Survivorship OR Professional Practice. Up to 3.4 ILNA points may be applied to Treatment OR Preparative Regimens OR Symptom Management OR Health Promotion/Screening and Early Detection OR Palliative Care. Up to 6.4 ILNA points may be applied to Scientific Basis for Practice OR Disease-Related Biology. 

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

Frequently Asked Questions

Does this course offer pharmacology content?

Yes, this course contains some pharmacology content. View our estimated pharmcology content page for an estimate for this particular course.

Technical Requirements

For optimal performance, and to fully participate in ONS online courses, it will be necessary to use one of the browsers listed below.

Supported Browsers for Desktop or Laptop Computers*:

*Use of an earlier version will prohibit the ability to post discussions or view some materials within the course properly.

After upgrading to one of these supported browser versions, please ensure your computer is set up to support the following additional requirements before beginning the lessons.

Additional Requirements**:

**If you're using a work computer for your course, the installation of these components may require assistance from the IT department at your place of business.

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Earn valuable NCPD, and stay on the forefront of oncology nursing.

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