Message from the Director

We are dedicated to the idea of cancer care for the whole patient, recognizing that truly comprehensive care includes understanding patients’ thoughts, feelings, symptoms, side-effects, needs and preferences. We use patient-centered psychosocial approaches to help maximize patients’ wellness, from increasing attendance at cancer screening, through helping patients manage cancer-related symptoms and distress. Our group of dedicated behavioral researchers conduct clinically meaningful, scientifically innovative research to help maximize health, wellness, and quality of life in individuals confronted with cancer and its treatment. Through training programs and cancer education grants, we are committed to disseminating our discoveries by training clinicians and researchers in delivering evidence-based behavioral cancer care.

I am proud to introduce you to the Center for Behavioral Oncology (CBO) at Mount Sinai.

Designated as a Center in 2018, the CBO traces its roots to the original Cancer Prevention and Control Program of the Ruttenberg Cancer Center, dating back to 1997. CBO represents a new focus on behavioral aspects of cancer and its treatment, from prevention through survivorship and end of life. The CBO combines cutting-edge research with compassionate care for individuals facing cancer. We focus on both reducing suffering and enhancing wellness.

Having worked as a psychologist for over two decades at the intersection of cancer and behavior, I am continually impressed by our group’s ability to move the needle forward in regard to the science and understanding of clinically significant problems, and then translating these findings to improving patient care. Psychology and behavior are critical aspects of cancer care. From cancer prevention efforts seeking change in behavior related to smoking, diet, exercise, and cancer screening, to symptom management efforts to improve quality of life and reduce the burdens of cancer and its treatments, behavioral approaches are critical to reducing the incidence of cancer, to increasing the likelihood of cancer being caught at earlier stages, to improving patient quality of life during treatment and survivorship, and to helping patients to navigate advanced cancer.

The CBO takes a four-pronged approach to improving cancer care: 1) we develop and test new behavioral approaches to improve cancer care – our group has over 20 years of continuous funding, from institutions such as NIH, DoD, PCORI, and ACS; 2) we train students, postdoctoral fellows, and cancer care providers in the evidence-based interventions we have developed – our group has over 18 years of continuous funding in the area of cancer training, including National Cancer Institute T32s and R25s. We focus on training behavioral cancer care leaders of tomorrow, as well as cancer care clinicians on the frontlines today. This dedication to training excellence is a hallmark of our program; 3) we have a clinical arm to ensure that Mount Sinai’s breast cancer patients have access to evidence-based psychological approaches to help them navigate challenges from diagnosis to treatment to survivorship to end-of-life; and, 4) we outreach to our local Mount Sinai community to ensure that all individuals in need have access to research studies, interventions, and cancer screening. I encourage you to explore the tabs on the right to learn more about our faculty, our research, and our clinical, community, and training efforts.

In sum, CBO is committed to improving the lives of all individuals confronted with cancer. I am honored to lead our Center into the future, as we continue to make real differences in people’s lives.

Dr. Guy H. Montgomery
Director, the Center for Behavioral Oncology