Figure 1. CCO nurse (n.d) Source: http://www.clinicaloptions.com, copyright Clinical Care Options, 2003-2009.

Samantha - Project Manager
Heather- Multimedia Lead
Ashley - Content Editor
Wendy- Design Lead


Oncology is defined as a medical specialty focusing on the study, diagnosis and treatment of cancer which can affect people across all ages. (Wikipedia, 2009) The role of the oncology nurse is to give individualized and optimal patient care focusing on a variety of people diagnosed with cancer. Oncology nurses must utilize an empathetic and caring approach along with focusing on treatment with specific health teaching to manage the illness. (Nursing Spectrum, 2004) Oncology nurses are dedicated to their patients, assisting with education, cancer prevention and screening continued with cancer treatments and procedures. (Samantha)

Main Topic 1 - Patient Education

Nurse Navigators are a welcomed addition to an extremely specialized area of nursing. These navigators help to educate their patients by providing necessary resources and aiding in the transitional period for an individual just diagnosed with cancer. This includes decisions regarding treatments and connecting the patient with other health care providers (“Nurse navigators,” 2008).
Nurse Navigators have become helpful liaisons to many cancer patients across Canada and the United States. Their jobs are not limited to just decision making and health care connections, their support extends to the patients family, education for the patient and their families, and monitoring the patient for adverse effects during the treatment process. These specialists have been utilized since “1998” with more than 80, 0000 educated as unique, essential, and admired nurses (“Nurse navigators”, 2008). (Heather)

Main Topic 2- Cancer Treatments and Procedures
Oncology nurses educate cancer patients by providing information on cancer treatments such as; chemotherapy and radiation. Chemotherapy treatment uses chemicals that kill cancer cells (Health Library, 2008). The goal is to reduce the number of cancer cells or decrease the size of tumors (Health Library, 2008). Chemotherapy drugs can be administered by mouth, injection, catheter, or application to the skin.
Chemotherapy through the Cardiovascular System

Figure 2. Chemotherapy Through the Cardiovascular System (n.d). Source: healthlibrary.epnet .com.

Radiation Therapy Penetrating a Tumor

Figure 3. External Radiation of a tumor (n.d). Source: healthlibrary.epnet.com.
Radiation therapy is another treatment option that works by penetrating beams of high-energy waves or streams of particles delivered by machines or radioactive substances (Health Library, 2008). When a patient receives chemotherapy or radiation they could be in hospital for hours, or days, depending on the method used. The most common side effects associated with both treatments are; nausea, vomiting, hair loss, fatigue, and appetite loss. (Ashley)

Main Topic 3 - Cancer Screening and Prevention

Canadian Cancer Society
Cancer Screening and Prevention
Oncology nurses make it a priority to provide health teaching not only to patients but to the general public as well. Two important elements of health teaching for oncology nurses are cancer screening and prevention: Proper cancer screening can help with early detection. There is not one type of screening that can detect every type of cancer but being aware of heredity and other possible risks can direct physicians as to the most appropriate tests. Annual physicals are also a valuable screening tool (Canadian Cancer Society, 2009). Cancer prevention teaching by oncology nurses is essentially making patients and the public aware of making smart lifestyle habits. Quitting smoking, following Canada’s Food Guide, being active, maintaining a healthy body weight, limiting alcohol consumption, using sunscreen and avoiding environmental contaminants all aid in decreasing the risks of cancer (Canadian Cancer Society, 2009).
The Canadian Cancer Society is a resource that oncology nurses utilize to keep them up-to-date in regards to cancer screening and cancer risks. The general public can also utilize the Canadian Cancer Society website to stay informed as well.
Canadian Cancer Society. (2009). Prevention.
Retrieved from http://www.cancer.ca/canada-wide/prevention.aspx?sc_lang=en


Oncology nurses possess the skills and the expertise to educate individuals diagnosed with cancer through treatments and procedures of chemotherapy and radiation. They also assist with cancer screening and prevention, taught to individuals to help with early detection and provide information on a healthier lifestyle. With a new diagnosis of cancer, regardless of the type raises feelings of fear, anxiety and a sense of loss of control in patients. Oncology nurses however, will aid in identifying obstacles and deliver the best possible patient care for all aspects of their cancer experience. (Samantha)


Figure 4. Nursing Stethoscope, Pennsylvania (n.d). Source: www.npcp.org/id16.html

Articles of Intrest






Abouzied, M. (2008). Radiation therapy. Retrieved from HealthLibrary website: http://healthlibrary.epnet.com/GetContent.aspx?token=7e48c8aa-46ab-4903-bac3-6bcc721e9e66&chunkiid=14855
Canadian Cancer Society (2009). Prevention. Retrieved from http://www.cancer.ca/canada-wide/prevention.aspx?sc lang=ex
Career in Nursing. In Nursing Spectrum (2004). Retrieved from [[http://www.nursingspectrum.comcancer/|http://www.nursingspectrum.com]]
Cancer. In Wikepedia the free encyclopaedia (2009). Retrieved from http://www.wikipedia.org

Cardiovascular System – Chemotherapy [Online Image]. (n.d). Retrieved July 30, 2009, from Healthlibrary.epnet.com.

External Radiation of a Tumor - Radiation [Online Image]. (n.d). Retrieved July 30, 2009, from Healthlibrary.epnet.com.
Nurse Navigators help patients battle cancer (2008). Nursing News. New Hampshire. Retrieved from http://www.nursingald.com/Uploaded%5CNewsletterFiles%5CNH012008.pdf
Puzanov, I (Ed.). Chemotherapy. Retrieved from HealthLibrary website: [[http://healthlibrary.epnet.com/GetContent.aspx?token=7e48c8aa-46ab4903 bac3-6bcc|http://healthlibrary.epnet.com/GetContent.aspx?token=7e48c8aa-46ab4903 bac3-6bcc]]721e9e66&chunkiid=14855