thyroid cancer in children is usually rare, but in the individuals exposed to radiation risk of disease increases considerably. after the chernobyl accident in 1986, an over 10-fold maximal elevation in the incidence of thyroid cancer was registered about a decade later, cumulatively resulting in more than a thousand of newly diagnosed cases in children who lived in the territories of belarus, russia, and ukraine affected by radioactive fallouts. experience from the epidemic substantially promoted knowledge in clinical pediatric oncology, pathology and basic sciences. this article overviews epidemiology, clinical features, results of treatment and follow-up of childhood patients with radiation-induced chernobyl thyroid cancer in comparison to sporadic cases diagnosed at present. in addition, we discuss general issues of pathology and molecular findings in childhood thyroid carcinomas.