Clinically solitary thyroid nodule
In the 7 years from June 1973 to May 1980 we found 281 solitary nodules among the 1 528 patients presenting with thyroid abnormalities at the Thyroid Clinic of the Tygerberg Hospital. Of these, 89.3% occurred in females. At final histopathological examination only 39.8% of these nodules were, in fact, proved to be solitary. The incidence of carcinoma in the clinically solitary nodules was 16.5%. The ratio of males to females with clinically solitary nodules which proved to be carcinomatous was 2.5:1. Although carcinoma occurred mostly in those nodules which showed no uptake of the radio-isotope (18.3%), there was a 9% incidence of carcinoma in nodules which showed active uptake or which did not show any decreased uptake in comparison with the surrounding thyroid. In the light of these findings we consider that it is wise to subject all patients in whom solitary nodules are discovered on clinical examination to operation.