Mercy Surgical Oncologist Dr. Vadim Gushchin Discusses Thyroid Cancer, Fastest Rising Cancer In Women

September 8, 2014
Dr. Vadim Gushchin - Surgical Oncology at Mercy - Baltimore

While thyroid cancer is one of the most treatable, according to doctors, it's also the fastest growing cancers, especially among women.

Thyroid cancer rates are on the rise, increasing 240 percent over the past 20 years, doctors said, making it the fastest rising cancer in women.

According to Mercy’s Dr. Vadim Guschin, surgical oncologist and Director of Gastrointestinal Oncology with The Institute for Cancer Care at Mercy, the increase in thyroid cancer rates is not because it's happening more often, but because doctors are diagnosing it more often by accident because there are often no symptoms.

"The prognosis is very good," Dr. Gushchin said, noting that the cancer is usually taken care of after a simple surgery.

"The most important treatment is the removal of the thyroid gland -- half of it, or most commonly, the entire thyroid gland. If it's done in a high-volume institution, it's probably a very well-tolerated surgery," Dr. Gushchin said.

Kim McElhattan has spent more than her fair share of time waiting in an oncologist's office. After fighting off ovarian cancer and melanoma, she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer.

"I was not happy. It was my third cancer. I was hoping it would be like marriage and the third time's the charm, and that this would be my last one and I'd be done with it. Also, I had known that of all surgeries, thyroid -- if there is a good one to get -- it was one of the easiest ones to take care of," McElhattan said.

After getting treatment, McElhattan feels confident her thyroid cancer is gone for good.

"I would say to anyone that has to deal with cancer, digest it, but don't look at it like the enemy that's going to kill you. Just take the bull by the horns and look in the mirror and know every day is a gift, enjoy it and don't look at it like it's the end, because it really doesn't have to be. It won't be," she said.

View Dr. Gushchin's interview with WBAL-TV11 regarding women and thyroid cancer.

Dan Collins - Senior Director of Media Relations at Mercy Medical Center

Dan Collins, Senior Director of Media Relations

Email: Office: 410-332-9714 Cell: 410-375-7342

About Mercy

Founded in 1874, Mercy Medical Center is a university-affiliated medical facility named one of the top 100 hospitals in the U.S. by Thomson-Reuters with a national reputation for women’s health. Mercy is home to the nationally acclaimed Weinberg Center for Women’s Health and Medicine as well as the $400+ million, 20-story Mary Catherine Bunting Center. For more information visit Mercy online at, Facebook, Twitter or call 1-800-MD-MERCY.

News and Events