february, 2025

24febAll Day21marIntroduction to Oncology NursingOnlineCPD Type:Tutored CPDSubject:MedicineCPD Hours:10 hoursCost:£205Length:4 weeksAVNAT points:10

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.  This course is tutored for 4 weeks, followed by a two week extension of untutored ‘catch up’ time, before the course officially ends.


All delegates will then have unlimited lifetime access to the learning material for future reference


February 24 (Monday) - March 21 (Friday)




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