CancerWorld Journalism Award


Serious issues demand serious journalism

The international magazine Cancer World is looking for outstanding pieces of journalism published or broadcast between May 2018 and December 2019 that are changing the way we think about cancer.

The Cancer World Journalism Award encourages, celebrates and rewards journalists who deliver insights into the personal and social impact of the disease, and efforts to change policy, practice or advocacy. Our 2017-2018 award attracted 181 entries from 39 countries. The winning entry, highlighting a growing cancer crisis in Mumbai, India, combined painstaking data journalism with human interest.

We would like journalists to submit one or more items of their work – whether in print, online, on radio, video or television – into the following categories:

  • Research, science and treatment
  • Patient and carer experience
  • Policy, services and affordability
  • Prevention

Further details about each category can be found here

In all categories, we are looking for articles/programmes that move beyond documenting experience, science, policy and practice. We want to find work that challenges, addresses urgent questions, increases awareness and prompts change. We are particularly looking for serious investigative journalism.

A prize of €1500 is available for the winner in each category. The journalist judged the overall winner will receive an additional €500 bringing their prize total to €2000.

Applications are now open and can be made online at the bottom of this page.

The closing date for entries is 6th January 2020.

Procedure and rules

  • Each entry – an article, video, podcast, radio or TV programme – must be entered under one specific category.
  • Journalists can enter up to three pieces of work, but each must be entered separately into a specific category.
  • Only entries made online at will be accepted.
  • Each entry must have been published/broadcast between 1st May 2018 and 31st December 2019.
  • If the entry being submitted is not in English, it should be accompanied by an English translation. Entrants may use whichever method of translation they like, including Google Translate. The judges want to encourage entries from as many countries as possible, so will be sympathetic to translation difficulties. However, the translation must be of sufficient quality to allow a proper judgement of the work to be made.
  • Television, video, podcast or radio entries must be made available from a website such as YouTube or Vimeo so that a link can be provided to judges.
  • The judges reserve the right to change the category that an entry is entered into.
  • The judges reserve the right not to award a prize in a category if they believe entries are not of sufficiently high quality.
  • Journalists should provide a statement of no more than 150 words with each entry, explaining why it deserves recognition.

Please read carefully the attached application procedure document before applying.

2018 Cancer World Journalism Award winners
Overall winner
Swagata Yadavar from India won the Policy, Services and Affordability category for her investigation into India’s growing cancer crisis, centred around experiences at the Tata Memorial Hospital in Mumbai. It was published in IndiaSpend, the country’s first not-for-profit data journalism initiative.

Patient and Carer Experience category winner
The winner in the Patient and Carer Experience category was Laure Andrillon from France, for her piece in Slate magazine about women who choose to “stay flat” after mastectomy and choose to heal in their own way.

Research, science and treatment category
Max Rauner from Germany won the research, science and treatment category for his article “Do you need a doctor? See your digital sibling first”, published in the Zeit Wissen magazine. The piece examined the potential value of computer simulations to guide treatment decisions.

Prevention category winner
The winner in the prevention category was Faiza Ilyas, for her story in the Pakistan newspaper Dawn: “Oral cancer epidemic in the making due to gutka, paan consumption”.

Special commendation
The judges decided that one entry, though not a winner, deserved a special commendation. It was an article entitled “Mirror of hope, lie of cancer” by Hajar Harb, a journalist in Palestine who wrote in the Gaza Post of the experiences of women facing breast cancer in the Gaza Strip, and her own journey to find treatment.

2016 Cancer World Journalism Award winners
Overall winner
Pia Heinemann from Germany won the Research, Science and Treatment category for her article published in Welt Am Sonntag about the need for gene testing to prevent many cancer patients from having unnecessary chemotherapy. The judges were impressed that she had written about a complex and important subject in such an accessible manner.

They decided she should be the overall winner.

Patient and Carer Experience category winner
The winner in the Patient and Carer Experience category was Pauline Kairu for her patient-centred investigation into the state of cancer care in Kenya for the Daily Nation newspaper.

Policy, Services and Affordability category
The winner in the Policy, Services and Affordability category was Suman Naishadham for her article “Cancer with no pain meds? The tragedy of India’s painkiller shortage”, published on the website The Influence.

Prevention category winner
The winner in the Prevention category was Duanduan Yuan, a health and environmental journalist for Southern Weekly in China. The judges commended her responsible investigation into the alleged link between baby powder use and ovarian cancer.

Special commendation
As well as recognising the four category winners, the judging panel gave a special commendation to a group of entrants who had used funding from ( to carry out an impressive cross-border investigation into why cancer patients in Eastern European countries often cannot afford the newest therapies and the role of the EU in setting the drug prices. These highly commended journalists are: Eric Breitinger (Switzerland), Aleksandra Jolkina (Latvia), Stanimir Vaglenov (Bulgaria), Cristian Niculescu (Romania), David Leloup (Belgium) and Dimitra Triantafillou (Greece).