de Souza Institute de Souza Institute
Categories: Nursing, Interprofessional, Oncology

Foundations of Cancer Disease Sites - Brain Cancer (CDSM00BRAINODM22)

Discover funding options available to you.

The brain is a common site of cancer metastases, though primary brain cancer is relatively uncommon in Canada. Any type of brain tumour (metastatic or primary) can have a dramatic effect on a person's functional ability and cognition, and any type of brain tumour can be associated with significant morbidity and mortality. This course will introduce you to primary brain cancer epidemiology, pathology, diagnosis, and treatment, covering the foundational knowledge you need to provide nursing care to patients with brain cancer and their families.

Course Objectives 

By the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • Identify the known factors and possible factors that put a person at higher risk of developing primary brain cancer.
  • Describe the overall prognosis for a person with a primary brain tumour and identify the prognostic factors that put a person at higher risk of dying from brain cancer.
  • Anticipate the signs and symptoms of brain cancer, according to the anatomical location of the tumour within the brain.
  • Recognize the unique signs and symptoms of a vestibular schwannoma.
  • Identify the function of specialized MRI and CT techniques in the diagnosis of primary brain tumours.
  • Summarize the World Health Organization (WHO) grading system for CNS cancers and explain why the TNM (tumour, node, metastases) staging system is not applicable to brain tumours.
  • Explain the role of surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and active surveillance in the treatment of low-grade and high-grade gliomas (astrocytomas, oligodendrogliomas, and ependymomas), meningiomas, and vestibular schwannomas.
  • Anticipate the adverse effects and complications of brain tumour resection and radiation therapy.
  • Recognize the signs and symptoms of increased intracranial pressure (IICP) and initiate nursing interventions.

Course Syllabus

This course consists of seven modules in total. The first module will review the brain anatomy and histology relevant to understanding the diverse signs and symptoms of brain tumours.
Module 02 and 03 will cover the diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment of primary brain tumours. Primary brain tumours are a heterogeneous group of cancers with a wide range of outcomes and a variety of management strategies, so Module 04 – 06 will go into more depth about the diagnosis and treatment of three of the major types of brain cancer: gliomas (e.g., glioblastomas), meningiomas, and vestibular schwannomas. The final module will give an overview of pre and post-operative nursing care, the adverse effects of radiation therapy to the brain, and the identification and management of increased intracranial pressure.
The final quiz consists of a case study where you will apply your knowledge to the care of a particular patient living with brain cancer. The quiz is open-book and a passing grade is 75%.
Although you can complete the various components of the course at your own pace, the course must be completed within 6 weeks from the time you register for the course.

Download the full Course Syllabus.


Available to all regulated health care professionals working along the cancer care continuum.

Payment must be received before you have access to the course. For more information, please visit our Cancellation & No Show Policy.

Participants can pay for this course online with a credit card, or send a cheque to:

de Souza Institute
c/o The Michener Institute of Education
222 St. Patrick Street, Office 503
Toronto, ON   M5T 1V4

You will immediately gain access to the course materials and have 6 weeks* after enrollment to complete all required activities.

*Course Duration
6 weeks
Fee (CAD)
International Fee (CAD)

To enroll in this course:


To purchase multiple courses:

Learning Hours
de Souza Designation Credits
Up to 0.5 credits under Treatment and Delivery of Evidence Based Care:
3 disease sites = Total 0.125 credits
6 disease sites = Total 0.25 credits
9 disease sites = Total 0.325 credits
12 and more disease sites = Total 0.5 credits

Successful completion of either Cancer Care Basics, Foundations in Oncology Nursing Practice or Standardized Chemotherapy and Biotherapy is required to register in this course.