They must understand the basic genetics, biochemistry and physiology of cancer.
They must be familiar with the most common cancer treatments, including surgery, chemotherapy and radiation
They must be prepared to deal with the many side effects of cancer treatment.
Cancer nurses should also be compassionate. Cancer is much more than a physical disease; cancer affects every aspect of a patient's being.
Oncology nurses help patients and their families negotiate some pretty dark days. Cancer nurses are also experts in pain control.