Course Overview

Mrs. Jones has been a client of your practice for the last 7 years. Her dog, "Bender" the Boxer, is a team favorite. You have celebrated birthdays with Bender in the exam room. Suddenly, Mrs. Jones finds a couple of masses on Bender and you are devastated. You know Mast Cell Tumors are common in Boxers. What if this is a Mast Cell? What if it is Grade 3? You dread the idea of Mrs. Jones having to be told. How can you and your practice treat Bender with the best medicine? So many thoughts flood your mind and Mrs. Jones can read the expression on your face. “This isn’t good is it…?” she asks.

Advances in veterinary medicine have allowed us to diagnose and treat cancer, often with excellent results. However, that success often comes with complications and side effects. Veterinary team members must have a strong educational foundation in order to play an effective role in the diagnosis, communication and treatment of cancer cases. Many times, team members do not comprehend the basics of this potentially deadly disease and, therefore, cannot help to educate clients with confidence, decreasing client compliance. Understanding oncology is critical, along with development and implementation of proper diagnostic and treatment procedures.

Oncology: An Overview of Cancer in Small Animals is a 6-week course that will help you and your practice create the best medical approach for your clients and patients through a strong foundation in the basics of oncology.


Continuing Education Credits

Course meets the requirements for 15 RACE hours of continuing education credit for veterinary technicians in jurisdictions which recognize AAVSB's RACE approval. However, participants should be aware that some boards have limitations on the number of hours accepted in certain categories and/or restrictions on certain methods of delivery.

This course is an interactive online course that meets RACE requirements; program number 57-11013.


Veterinary Technician Specialty Academy Acceptance

The Academy of Internal Medicine for Veterinary Technicians (AIMVT)

Oncology: An Overview of Cancer in Small Animals is a course accepted by the Academy towards continuing education requirements.


Additional Courses On This Topic

Oncology: An Overview of Cancer in the Small Animal
Oncology: Cancer in Small Animals Part One and
Oncology: Cancer in Small Animals Part Two are partner courses designed to provide a extensive grounding in oncology.

The latter two courses examine specific types of cancers. It is recommended that the participant first take Oncology: An Overview of Cancer in the Small Animal or already have a strong grasp of the topics covered in this course.

All three courses utilize the same textbook.

To learn more about any course just click on the course title above.


Course Content

The course opens with a refresher on the basics of oncology to provide a review of concepts. It then continues by detailing the changes that occur to the cells as they become malignant.

Team members will also gain a full understanding of the viruses that are linked with cancer, along with chemicals, physical, environmental and hormonal cancer-related factors.

Diagnostic techniques are covered at length, along with treatment options.

Safety should be a top-priority of team members; PPE, hazards and personal precautionary measures finish out the course, along with Pawspice options for both team members and clients.


Course Focus and Learning Objectives

Oncology: An Overview of Cancer in Small Animals is a 6-week course designed to further the skills of the advanced technician. Although this course carries RACE credits only for technicians, many veterinarians will find this course beneficial to their understanding of oncology and a good starting point for advanced-level training.

Upon completion of the course, the student will be able to:

  • Compare and contrast normal cell structure with cancerous cell structure
  • Recognize common tumor characteristics
  • Compare and contrast benign and malignant tumors
  • Differentiate cancer causing viruses
  • Identify chemical, physical and hormonal factors associated with cancer
  • Assess immune system responses to cancer cells
  • Identify the process of carcinogenesis
  • Evaluate genetic mutations
  • Compare and contrast effective diagnostic imaging technologies
  • Evaluate effective sample acquisition methods, including aspirates, scrapings, swabs and imprints
  • Develop effective biopsy techniques
  • Identify paraneoplastic syndromes
  • Compare and contrast effective treatment options, including surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy
  • Implement effective safety and protective measures
  • Effectively assess and implement pain management and nutritional protocols for cancer patients
  • Assess and establish end-of-life measures for cancer patients and their owners


Participation Access Parameters

The design of this course allows participants to enroll at any time. 

After enrolling, please allow up to 48 hours for course activation. Each participant will have a personal start and end date that begins upon activation.


Additional Courses Using Required Text

The textbook used in this course is also used in the following courses. Click on the course titles below to view details regarding those courses. Use your browser's back button to return to this course.

Oncology: Cancer in Small Animals Part One
Oncology: Cancer in Small Animals Part Two


Participant Feedback

...I enjoyed learning about techniques for FNAs, safety procedures to impliment at my practice, and about paraneoplastic syndromes.

...I enjoyed reading the text about specific conditions and chemotherapy medications. I felt that the section on safety was well done but rather short.

...The assignment questions, PDF booklets and exams helped reinforce the readings

...I liked that our teacher always had more information for us and made us push ourselves to expand our answers.

...The more in-depth overview is what I was hoping for . The instructor was easy to contact and was very quick and helpful with any questions.

...I really enjoyed the reading assignments. It helped to break up the text book and find what was most important to read

...I think this gave me a better understanding of what I can do to help the clients and staff at my job.

...Having assigned topics to read and review was good for me. I have needed a structured way to learn more about oncology.

...I liked the guided reading, although some pages were inaccurate for my edition. The class helped me to organize my thoughts and learning process.


Required Materials

Withrow & MacEwens Small Animal Oncology, 5th edition by Stephan Withrow, DVM, DACVS, DACVIM; David Vail, DVM, DACVIM; 2013 Elsevier

Important Text Information:

It is mandatory that each participant has access to this textbook as the content of the book is not reproduced within the course. It is up to each person to determine the best way to acquire the text. Some will already have the text in their library and, therefore, will not need to purchase another copy. The text is available as a print publication and as an eBook. Where to purchase and in what format is totally up to the participant. The text is not included in the fee for this course.

USA residents: Elsevier texts, both print and eBook, are available via the VetMedTeam Elsevier Text Portal at discounts off regular retail of 25 - 35 %. If you would like to visit the portal to take advantage of the discount please use this link:

VetMedTeam's Elsevier Text Portal

Important: Regardless of which option the participant chooses, access to a copy of the textbook is mandatory. Without the text, the student will not be able to complete the assignments, case studies and examinations. If enrolling close to or beyond the course start date, it is recommended that the text be purchased as an eBook to prevent text acquisition related delays. VetMedTeam has no control over shipping delays and other related problems.


Course Completion Requirements

Completed students are awarded a certificate of completion. Completion requirements include:

  • Instructor Graded Interactive Module Assignments: Designed to help the participant reinforce newly learned material

  • Instructor Graded Interactive Case Study Assignments: Designed to help the participant apply the newly learned skills and knowledge though patient and practice based scenarios

  • Examinations: All examinations must be submitted with a score of 80% or better

  • Course survey


Course Instructor

Kim Albin, LVT, VTS (Oncology)Kim Albin, LVT, VTS (Oncology)

After gaining a strong foundation as a Licensed Technician, Kim became a VTS (oncology). She has worked with the Oncology Unit at Michigan State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital 6 years, focusing on animal and handler safety. She has published several articles in Veterinary Technician magazine, the Canadian Veterinary Technician magazine, and is currently working on a Chemotherapy Safety Book.

Kim is Past President of the Veterinary Technician Cancer Society and is the Safety Coordinator for many Veterinary Oncology clinics.

In her spare time, Kim is a mother, wife, and a sponsored amateur triathlete on the Lansing Triathlon Team, as well as a fitness instructor at the YMCA.



Price: $179.00



VetMedTeam 2014