It is a difficult question, whether it is malignant or not, when you follow up patients with thyroid nodular lesions. Cytological examination helps to solve this issue more accurately but a cancer risk still exists in patients with a negative cytology, non-diagnostic or suspicious follicular neoplasms. Analysis of cancer risk in patients with benign thyroid nodular lesions was carried out among 1044 cases who underwent thyroid surgery at Kuma Hospital, Kobe, Japan, in 2000. The purpose of this study was to provide evidence of cancer risk in those patients in Japan. Among the 356 cases with benign nodular lesions, 99 cases of papillary carcinoma were found in the thyroid parenchyma. Seventy-nine of the 99 cases were clinical cancer and were found preoperatively by cytology, while 20 out of 277 (7.22%) cases were found postoperatively as incidental carcinoma. The incidence of follicular carcinoma of a minimally invasive type in the index nodule was 22 out of 279 (7.89%) cases in patients who were surgically treated.