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To learn more about the Psychosocial Oncology Program or to make an appointment:


Psychosocial Oncology

The Upstate Cancer Center is committed to the psychological well-being of patients and family members. When faced with a cancer diagnosis, patients can feel overwhelmed and frightened. In its multidisciplinary approach to cancer care, Upstate offers psychosocial oncology services to patients from their diagnosis to treatment to survivorship.

The mission of the Psychosocial Oncology Program is to provide quality and comprehensive care to promote the health and well-being of cancer patients at the Upstate Cancer Center. Our vision is to raise the standard of psychosocial cancer care throughout the Cancer Center and be a resource to the community through clinical service, education and research. 

The team works with patients and their oncology providers to address the emotional distress, fear, and anxiety that a cancer diagnosis produces, as well as the treatment, treatment side effects, and difficulties that come with a cancer diagnosis and living with cancer.


A cancer diagnosis can disrupt many aspects of life for a patient and their loved ones. During this challenging time, we are here to support you, to help you contemplate decisions, and to provide all you need to feel both more informed and empowered.

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What is Psychosocial Oncology?

Psychosocial Oncology is a supportive service within cancer care to address the psychological, social, behavioral, and emotional issues that can present following a cancer diagnosis and treatment. A cancer diagnosis can cause significant distress for a patient and their family. We work with your oncology providers to address any concerns for overall health, well-being, and quality of life. We understand the complexity of factors contributing to our patients' pursuit of treatment and provide compassionate, integrated, evidence-based care. We can see patients throughout their cancer experience, from initial diagnosis to post-treatment.

What to Expect

The Psychosocial Oncology Program includes a psychologist and advanced graduate students from Syracuse University. Typically, we will schedule an appointment for an initial evaluation. This appointment will be different from other sessions in that we will ask you questions about what you are currently experiencing and discuss treatment goals for therapy. This visit can last up to 50 minutes. At the end of this session, we will discuss a treatment plan and any possible referrals that may provide additional support. Follow-up sessions typically are 30-50 minute sessions, meeting for an average of 6-8 sessions every 2-4 weeks. These appointments are billed through your medical insurance when you see the psychologist, however, services are free of charge when you meet with an advanced graduate student. We offer individual, family, and couples therapy options, with group therapy coming soon.

Visits can be in-person, or via telemedicine over the phone or video.

Examples of Available Support for Patients

  • Coping with cancer
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Struggling to make treatment decisions
  • End-of-life concerns including anxiety over death or preparing for death
  • Quality of life concerns
  • Poor social support or struggles communicating with social support system
  • Substance use impacting cancer treatment
  • Struggling with self-esteem, body image, or sexuality post-surgery/treatment

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Psychosocial Oncology Staff

Our team will meet with you to address how cancer is impacting you and your quality of life, and to help support your specific needs. We look forward to meeting and working with you.

Our team includes:

Dorianne Eaves, PsyD, is a licensed clinical psychologist who specializes in the area of psychosocial oncology and is director of the program at the Upstate Cancer Center.

Emma Lape, MS, is an advanced graduate student from the clinical psychology graduate program at Syracuse University.