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August 1956

The Occurrence of Thyroid Nodules in the General Population

Author Affiliations


From the Departments of Medicine of the Bay Ridge Medical Group and the State University of New York College of Medicine at New York City, Brooklyn, and the Medical Services of the Maimonides Hospital of Brooklyn.

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1956;98(2):175-180. doi:10.1001/archinte.1956.00250260049006

Much confusion exists regarding the management of nodular goiters. The problem which confronts the clinician is whether to surgically remove asymptomatic thyroid nodules solely because of their possible malignancy. The statistics derived from series of surgically treated glands indicate a significant percentage of cancers in both clinically uninodular and clinically multinodular nontoxic goiters.1 As long as surgeons continue to be presented with the same selection of nodular goiters as has been responsible for these statistics, surgery for such goiters seems indicated. It has been pointed out that these data represent the findings in a selected group of nodular goiters, the selection having been performed by the patient himself, the family physician, and surgeon.2 The unanswered question at present is what is the frequency of carcinoma in unselected nodular goiters. Sokal 3 and others have suggested that the percentage of malignancies in an unselected group of nodular goiters would

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