There have been significant advances in our understanding of carcinogenesis at the molecular level over the last 25 years. Oncogenes are of major interest as part of our search for knowledge surrounding the aetiology of cancer. There are several oncogenes associated with thyroid cancer. Detailed investigation of the nature and function of these tumour genes has provided important insights into both the tumour biology and the complex biochemical pathways of normal cellular functioning. Our knowledge of oncogene biology offers the hope of better diagnostic, therapeutic and prognostic modalities in our fight against this and other common cancers. Development of specific thyroid tumour markers and gene therapy is now a realistic prospect to supplement our present armamentarium of surgery and radiotherapy. This review aims to outline the pertinent information gained so far from studies of these oncogenes and provides both clinical relevance and fuel for further interest amongst the ENT thyroid community in this exciting area of research.