April 1976

The Treatment of Incidental Thyroid Cancer

Author Affiliations

From the departments of surgery (Drs Simonowitz, Moossa, and Block) and pathology (Dr Thomsen), University of Chicago Hospitals and Clinics.

Arch Surg. 1976;111(4):477-483. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1976.01360220173030

• Thirty-eight patients with incidental thyroid carcinoma were reviewed. Thyroid lobectomy was adequate therapy in 15 of 17 patients. Both patients in whom lobectomy alone was inadequate had received prior irradiation.

Five patients had antecedent head and neck irradiation, and in three of them, multicentric foci of tumor developed. Lobectomy alone was inadequate in three of these patients; they required thyroidectomy. A clinical recurrence developed in only two of 38 patients, and both of them had received previous irradiation.

Reoperation in previously dissected areas was associated with an increased rate of complications. Lobectomy in nonirradiated and total thyroidectomy in irradiated patients cured the majority of patients suffering from incidental carcinoma of the thyroid.

(Arch Surg 111:477-483, 1976)