• Vol. 36 No. 4, 241–243
  • 15 April 2007

Incidence of Cancer in Nodular Goitres



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Introduction: Nodular goitres occur commonly in the population and this paper aims to determine the incidence of thyroid cancer found in these goitres. Materials and Methods: This is a retrospective, consecutive analysis of the histology of 268 nodular goitres that had been operated on, from 2002 to 2004, in a single tertiary hospital in Singapore. Results: Fifty-seven goitres (21.2%) with multiple nodules were found to contain a malignancy. Forty-four thyroid cancers (77%) were of the papillary type. The mean age of presentation for benign nodular goitres was 47.9 years. The mean age of presentation for malignant thyroid tumours was 49.25 years. Conclusion: The incidence of cancer is significant in nodular goitres and these malignant tumours are usually of the papillary type.

The incidence of malignancy in multinodular goitres have been found to vary from 4% to 17%.1 The incidence of malignancy in solitary nodules is not significantly higher.2 These studies alluded to the fact that the risk of malignancy in both multinodular goitres and solitary thyroid nodules is not negligible. Therefore, both conditions should be carefully evaluated to detect any underlying malignant foci, which may require further surgical intervention. This study aims to examine the incidence of cancer in the resected specimens of nodular goitres in a Singapore hospital.

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