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Dr. Dorianne Eaves and a female patient are seated and talking together. The patient's back is to the camera so you can't see her face.

Psychosocial Oncology

To make an appointment
Phone: 315 464-HOPE (4673)

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.  As part of our spectrum of multi-disciplinary cancer care within Upstate we offer psychosocial oncology services to our patients throughout the process of cancer diagnosis, treatment, and survivorship.

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

A cancer diagnosis can disrupt many areas of life for a patient and their loved ones. We are here during this challenging time to support you through your experience with decisions and treatment to help provide a more informed and empowered position.


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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 a psychology graduate clinician 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. We offer individual, family, and couples therapy options, with group therapy coming soon.

We are currently conducting telehealth appointments via video or telephone.

Examples of Available Support for Patients

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Coping with cancer
  • 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
Dr. Dorianne Eaves
Dr. Dorianne Eaves

Our psychologist, Dr. Dorianne Eaves, is readily available to counsel patients. For a referral to the Psychosocial Oncology Program, call 315 464-HOPE (4673) to schedule or ask any provider at Upstate Cancer Center to place a referral. Translator services are also available.

CancerCare is a helpful resource for additional support.

The COVID-19 pandemic has also been a stressful time for many people, especially those going through a cancer diagnosis and treatment. NY Project Hope has helpful resources.