NMHS42560 Fundamentals of Cancer Care

Academic Year 2023/2024

This module aims to provide students with the relevant critical theory underpinning cancer care in order to facilitate the delivery of person-centred, holistic and evidence-based care to people affected by cancer* (PABC)). More specifically, this module addresses epidemiology, pathology and disease and treatment related complications in the context of cancer. There is a particular focus on the principles and, where relevant, the biological effects and side effects of various local and systemic anti-cancer treatments. *PABC: those at high risk of developing cancer, patients, cancer survivors, families/significant others.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this module, you will be able to:

•Describe the pathophysiology of cancer.
•Discuss the principles of epidemiology and critically evaluate the incidence, prevalence and determinants of the most common cancers.
•Critically evaluate the different modalities of cancer treatment (including effects/side effects).
Critically analyse the factors (physical, psychological, social) that need to be considered with reference to the selection of anticancer treatment for patients with cancer.
•Critically analyse the informational, educational and supportive care needs of PABC particularly with reference to patients receiving local and systemic anti-cancer treatments.

Indicative Module Content:

An overview of the development of cancer
Cancer epidemiology
Cancer treatments
Complications of cancer and cancer treatments
Psychological impact of cancer and cancer treatments

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Conversation Class




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Self-directed learning, lectures, peer discussions and shared learning; regular practice online quizzes, authentic assignments, individual feedback on assessments 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations
Learning Requirements:

•Completion of level 8 (UCD 3) modules or equivalent (Consideration of application for prior experiential learning (RPEL) if no degree)

Registration with NMBI as a Registered General Nurse (RGN) /Registered Children's Nurse (RCN)
•Minimum of one year’s experience in cancer nursing (applicants for the Adult Cancer Nursing and Children's Cancer Nursing strands who have at least one years experience in Cancer Nursing, at least 9 months of this experience will need to be in the oncology/haematology setting (i.e., if currently or previously based in surgical oncology).

•Must work a minimum of 75 hours per month in a cancer unit or related cancer setting prior to commencing, and for the duration of the programme

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Fundamentals of Cancer Care (NMHS40410), Cancer Treatments (NURS40410)

Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade In Module Component Repeat Offered
Assignment: Authentic assessment focusing on decision making regarding the choice of treatment for a patient with cancer. A 1500 word evidence-based assignment. Varies over the Trimester n/a Alternative non-linear conversion grade scale 50% Yes


Assignment: Authentic assessment: 1000 word evidence based assignment. Critically discuss the advice you would provide regarding healthy lifestyle choices for your patient with cancer. Varies over the Trimester n/a Alternative non-linear conversion grade scale 50% Yes


Examination: MCQ online timed exams Varies over the Trimester No Alternative non-linear conversion grade scale 50% No



Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Spring Yes - 2 Hour
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment
• Online automated feedback

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Feedforward and feedback provides you with information regarding the type, breadth and depth of detail that is required in order to meet the learning outcomes of the module. Feedforward and feedback provides you with information on areas such as knowledge, understanding, application, analysis, synthesis, evaluation and academic writing.

Brant, J.M., Cope, D. G. and Saria, M. (2019) Core Curriculum for Oncology Nursing, 6th edn. Oncology Nursing Society (ONS). Elsevier Health Sciences.

Brown, C.G. (2015) A Guide to Oncology Symptom Management (2nd edn.). Pittsburgh: Oncology Nursing Society.

Lister, S., Dougherty, L. and McNamara, L. (Eds.) (2019) The Royal Marsden Manual of Cancer Nursing Procedures. Wiley Blackwell.

Wilkes, G.M. and Barton-Burke, M. (2020) 2020-2021 Oncology Nursing Drug Handbook. Burlington, MA: Jones and Bartlett Learning.

Hinds, P.S., and Linder, L. (Eds.) (2020) Pediatric Oncology Nursing: defining care through science. Springer Nature, Switzerland (Children's Cancer Nursing Strand)
Name Role
Grainne Langan Tutor