The frequency with which the coexistence of thyroid cancer and autonomously functioning thyroid nodules (AFTN) is reported (both uncommon conditions) suggests that their association may not be entirely coincidental. Radiation therapy may predispose to the development of both benign and malignant thyroid nodules. Four of our 98 patients with AFTN gave histories of prior radiation therapy; one had coexistent thyroid cancer (the first described patient with AFTN and cancer after radiation therapy). It is suggested that a history of prior radiation therapy be diligently sought for all patients with AFTN, and, when obtained, further management planned with due regard for the possibility of coexistent cancer.
Meier DA, Hamburger JI. An Autonomously Functioning Thyroid Nodule, Cancer, and Prior RadiationCase Report and Hypothesis. Arch Surg. 1971;103(6):759-761. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1971.01350120123024