Most articles concerned with the treatment of thyroid cancer have been based upon small numbers of patients. Discussions of treatment have been dogmatic, with little reference to the biology of the disease. This paper is a study of the biology of this neoplasm reflected in clinical findings and its course. A search has been made for pathognomonic signs or symptoms. As surgical consultants to a thyroid clinic, we must frequently make decisions regarding the indications for surgery in patients with diffuse or multinodular goiter. The need for more reliable criteria upon which to base such decisions was one of the motivations in this investigation. The well-established indication of a solitary nodule applies only in a minority of patients seen.
Materials and Methods
One hundred seventy-six patients seen at the University Hospitals from 1928 to 1957 with carcinoma of the thyroid gland provided the clinical material for this study. In