The presented paper deals with the thyroid cancer incidence in selected cohorts of emergency workers of Russia. In 1986-2003, a total of 87 cases of thyroid cancer were observed. Based on these data, a statistically significant increase in thyroid cancer incidence was found above the reference level for the male population of Russia, corresponding to a standardized incidence rate (SIR) of SIR = 3.47 [95% confidence interval (CI): 2.80; 4.25]. The highest incidence rate (SIR = 6.62, 95% CI: 4.63; 9.09) was shown for those emergency workers who took part in the early recovery operations in April-July 1986. The estimated SIR value increases to 7.97 (95% CI: 5.24; 11.52) after allowing for a 10 years latent period of Chernobyl-related thyroid cancers. These results indicate that the exposure to incorporated (131)I was the major risk factor of thyroid cancer among Chernobyl emergency workers. No statistically significant relationship was found for the thyroid cancer incidence and external radiation dose.