february, 2023

27febAll Day24marIntroduction to OncologyOnlineCPD Type:Tutored CPDSubject:MedicineCPD Hours:10 hoursCost:£200 *Will run when 5 more delegates book

Course Details

It is estimated that one in three companion animals will die of cancer, which makes understanding the disease and caring for these animals and their families common within our role. Despite this demand, there is limited space in the veterinary nurse curriculum dedicated to cancer and so here we explore the subject in more practical detail.

This course discusses how cancer manifests in the companion animal, how a cancer diagnosis is made and how chemotherapy treatments are administered. Throughout the weekly sessions there are activities and opportunities to test your learning and evaluate how you could introduce some of the practical elements into your practice.

After completing this 4 week online course, the participants will have a greater knowledge and understanding of the basic principles of veterinary oncology and be able to apply this to their own working practices.

Week 1

What is cancer

Pathophysiology of neoplasia

Common causes of cancer in animals

Classifications of cancer types

The difference between benign and malignant disease

Learning objectives
After completion of this week, participants should be able to:

Understand the alterations in the cell cycle that results in neoplastic disease

List the different types of cancer based on tissue origin

Describe the different causes of cancer in small animals

Explain how benign disease is different to malignant disease and the risks associated with both conditions.

Identify higher risk categories of patients and analyse the research available in line with evidence-based-medicine


Week 2 

Diagnosis and prognosis

Fine needle aspirates

Cancer cytology

Cancer staging

Specialist tests for cancer

Learning objectives
After completion of this week, participants should be able to:

List fine needle aspirate methods to optimise cytological yield

Evaluate a cytology sample in-house to ensure sample is of diagnostic quality

Understand the commonly preferred methods for staging patients with neoplasia

Describe the types of specialist tests required to further categorise cancer

Analyse personal skill set and determine if any modifications to current practice would be beneficial


Week 3 

Common chemotherapy agents

Overview of common chemotherapy drugs

Administering chemotherapy

Chemotherapy safety

Adverse effects with administering chemotherapy

Learning objectives
After completion of this week, participants should be able to:

Understand how chemotherapy agents work

Explain how to correctly administer chemotherapy agents

List what safety factors should be observed when administering chemotherapy in practice

Describe how to manage an extravasation injury and reduce risk of chemotherapy associated nausea and vomiting

Evaluate practice protocols to standardise and promote best practice in line with most current information


Week 4

Client and patient support

Introduction to oncology clinics

Nadir checks

Managing adverse-effects following chemotherapy administration

The Cancer Journey

Learning objectives
After completion of this week, participants should be able to:

Describe how and why a nadir check is performed

Identify common adverse effects associated with chemotherapy

Understand preventive and interventional treatment protocols for chemotherapy associated adverse effects

Explain the causes for likely outcome of treatment failure and the physiology behind this

Reflect over professional skill-set and evaluate how you can further enhance your personal development to support clients of patients with cancer

The course will be fully tutored by Nicola Read, and will consist of 10 hours of CPD given in various formats, including tutorials, tasks, case studies, forum discussions and quizzes.

Click here for further details


February 27 (Monday) - March 24 (Friday)




Nicola ReadDipAVN (Medical), PgCert Veterinary Oncology, AFHEA, RVN Head Oncology Nurse, Royal Veterinary College