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The Cancer Journalism Award is organized by ESO to recognize outstanding pieces of journalism published or broadcast that are changing the way we think about cancer. The Award encourages, celebrates and rewards journalists who deliver insights into the personal and social effects of the disease, and the impact of policy, practice and advocacy.

Annually ESO invites journalists to submit one or more items of their work – whether in print, online, on radio, video or television – into the following three categories:

  • Policy, services and affordability
  • Research and science
  • Prevention and treatment

In all categories, we are look for articles/programmes that move beyond documenting experience, science, policy and practice. We want to reward work that asks dofficult questions, increases awareness and prompts change. We are particularly looking for investigative stories. We expect that patient experience and perspectives will be reflected in all submissions, whatever the category.  

The Award is open to journalists working in the following regions:

  • Europe (including non EU countries)
  • Eastern Europe (including non EU countries)
  • Eurasia
  • Mediterranean area
  • Central and Latin America

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 for the 2021 Cancer Journalism Award have passed. Details on the next edition will be published shortly.


Application procedure

Please read the steps below carefully before applying:

Step 1:
You can submit up to three pieces of published work. For each piece of work you must select the relevant category:

  • Research and science
    We are looking for work that seriously assesses the value of new discoveries and developments rather than simply describing them
  • Policy, services and affordability
    We want accessible pieces that raise serious questions about cancer services and discuss possible answers
  • Prevention and treatment
    We are looking for pieces examining cancer causes, assessing risk reduction (including early detection) and exploring issues surrounding the risks and benefits of treatment.

Written articles should be saved in one of the following formats: a word doc, pdf or jpeg. If your article is available online you can insert a direct link on the application form instead of uploading a document.  

Work published on television, film, video and radio/podcast should be made available by providing a link to a website such as YouTube or Vimeo.

Step 2:
If your work is not in English you will be required to prepare a translation of the piece into English. You will need to upload this separately on to our system when you upload your piece of work. 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.

Step 3:
Please prepare and save a statement (no more than 150 words) as to why your piece of work should receive a Cancer Journalism Award. This can be submitted either as a word doc. or pdf. You will be requested to upload a separate statement for each piece of work you submit.

Step 4:
Please download and complete the attached copyright form. You will be requested to upload a completed version of this form for each piece of work that you submit. We request this form because we would like to reprint winning articles in our print and online magazine Cancer World. If your piece of work is a radio/television broadcast you are not required to give us copyright but if you win the Award one of the Cancer World journalists will cover your winning piece as an article in Cancer World.

Step 5:
Once all these documents are ready you can start the application process. Please click on the ‘Apply Now’ button on the webpage and complete the personal details form first. You will then be required to upload your work and documents.

For more information please contact:

chall@eso.net or call Corinne Hall +39 02 85 4645 22

Cancer Journalism Award winners 2019-2020

Outstanding reporting recognised in ESO’s Cancer Journalism Award

Journalists from Germany, Belgium, Kenya and Mexico have been recognised for their outstanding achievement in the 2019-20 Cancer Journalism Award, organised by the European School for Oncology (ESO) in Milan, Italy.

The overall winner was Anne Preger from Germany, whose podcast “Chance in Phase 2” explored a range of research, treatment and emotional issues through the story of a young girl with TRK fusion cancer tumors in her head.

Journalists from 24 countries submitted work produced between May 2018 and December 2019 – print, online, radio, video and television.


There were winners in three categories, who each receive €1500, with the overall winner receiving an additional €500. The judges agreed that the general standard of entries was extremely high. However, there was no winner in the “Prevention” category this year.

Overall winner

Winner of Research, Science and Treatment category

Anne Preger
from Germany won the Research, Science and Treatment category and was judged to have submitted the best entry overall with her episode of the WDR StoryQuarks podcast. It combined reporting on cutting edge cancer science with the human experience involved,taking listeners through the experiences of a girl and her family as she takes part in a phase II research study at a children's cancer centre.

The judges were impressed by the piece’s clear explanation, and the way it demonstrated how science affects treatment in practice from a patient perspective, always acknowledging limitations as well as potential.

You can listen to the episode at:

“The podcast was special for me right from the beginning,” she said. “A family placed a lot of trust in me and allowed me to tell the story of their journey with childhood cancer. During my reporting I felt humbled by the perseverance of Antonia, her parents and the medical team at Hopp Children's Cancer Center Heidelberg. As a storytelling science podcast, StoryQuarks offered me a chance to cover both the relevant medical aspects of an innovative tissue agnostic cancer treatment and the emotional implications of Antonia‘s story. To receive the Cancer Journalism Award for this story is a great honour for me and the rest of the StoryQuarks team.“

Patient and Carer Experience category winner

The judges decided there should be two winners in this category.

Elijah Kanyi
’s two-part report on the experiences of low-income families with cancer in Kenya, for the Africa Uncensored YouTube channel, was both moving and eye-opening. The judges admired the way it simply let people tell their stories, but kept the viewer engrossed through its skilful production.

You can view the films at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mf9717G_mgM

“I am delighted that the ‘My Cancer Story’ video has won the Cancer Journalism Award 2020. The recognition is an encouragement to continue being the voice of the voiceless. Asanteni Sana – thank you very much, as we say in Swahili.”

Patrice Goldberg
, Editor in Chief of Matière Grise, the science program of RTBF TV channel in Belgium, was joint winner for his report on women’s use of decorative breast tattoos after mastectomy. The judges were impressed with the way that journalists had established trust with their subjects and revealed inspiring stories.

“I am absolutely delighted to receive this award from such an important organisation,” he said. “It pays tribute to the patients who agreed to share part of their intimacy in order to transmit a message of hope. For many women affected by breast cancer, mastectomy is experienced as an amputation of their femininity. Therefore, the process of getting a tattoo after the disease is not trivial. The tattoo gives the woman back the power to be again the actress of her life. I dedicate this award to the exceptional women and carers I had the chance to meet.”  

Policy, Services and Affordability category winner

Myriam Vidal Valero, Rodrigo Pérez
and Nelly Toche won this category for their report “I Didn’t Smoke: the stigma faced by lung cancer patients in Mexico” for the New York Times. The reporters shed light on the experiences of a large and marginalised group of patients and asked important questions about existing public health policies.

You can view the article at:

"We're extremely honoured to receive this award,” said Myriam Vidal Valero. “This proves that collaborative journalism can create a bigger impact in the world. We'd like to thank our editors who helped us find the best reporters within ourselves, to the doctors and experts we spoke to, and a special thanks to the patients who let us into their lives and struggles.”

Other shortlisted journalists were:

Ilana Yurkiewicz (USA)
Behind the Scenes of a Radical New Cancer Cure (Undark.org)
Victoria Forster (Canada)
Why The Obsession With A Universal Cure For Cancer May Be Harming Research And Patients (Forbes Health)
Levels Of Some Cancer-Causing Chemicals In Nail Salons Higher Than In Auto Garages Says New Study (Forbes Health)
Omolabake Fasogbon (Nigeria)
Cervical Cancer: How Government Gambles with Women's Rights to Reproductive Health (ThisDay Newspapers)
Veronica Hackethal (United States)
Heartbreaking News, Then Tumor Find Leads to Genetic Testing (Medscape)
Should All Breast Cancer Patients Undergo Genetic Testing? (Medscape)
Oscar Miyamoto (Estonia)
Mind and spirit are essential to fight breast cancer (losintangibles.com)
Kat Arney (UK)
The DNA detectives hunting the causes of cancer (Mosaic)

The judging panel

The judging panel for this year’s Award was: Adriana Albini, Editor in Chief of Cancer World magazine; Alberto Costa, ESO’s CEO; Simon Crompton, writer and scientific journalist; Swagata Yadavar, New Delhi health journalist and winner of the 2018 award; Katrin Zöfel, science reporter for Swiss radio and runner-up in the 2014 Award.


Cancer Journalism Award past winners

Past winners

2018 Cancer World Journalism Award winners

Overall winner & Policy, Services and Affordability category winner
Swagata Yadavar - IndiaSpend, India

Patient and Carer Experience category winner
Laure Andrillon - Slate magazine, France

Research, science and treatment category
Max Rauner - Zeit Wissen, Germany

Prevention category winner
Faiza Ilyas - Dawn, Pakistan

Special commendation
Hajar Harb - Gaza Post, Palestine

2016 Cancer World Journalism Award winners

Overall winner and Research, Science and Treatment category winner
Pia Heinemann - Welt Am Sonntag, Germany

Patient and Carer Experience category winner
Pauline Kairu - Daily Nation newspaper, Kenya

Policy, Services and Affordability category
Suman Naishadham - The Influence, India

Prevention category winner
Duanduan Yuan,Southern Weekly, China.

Special commendation
A special commendation was given to a group of entrants who had used funding from JournalismFund.eu (www.journalismfund.eu) 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).

Best Cancer Reporter Award

From 2006 to 2015 the Award was known as the Best Cancer Reporter Award

2015 - Best Cancer Reporter Award

1st Prize: Matthew Hill, BBC, UK
2nd Prize: Patrice Goldberg, Matière Grise, Belgium

2014 - Best Cancer Reporter Award

1st Prize: Steven Buist, Hamilton Spectator, Canada

Joint 2nd Prize:
Katrin Zoefel, Deutschlandfunk
Germany, Jason Gale, Bloomberg Markets, Australia

In addition, American journalist Clifton Leaf received a Best Cancer Reporter Lifetime Achievement award for his outstanding contribution to cancer journalism.

2013 - Best Cancer Reporter Award

Joint 1st Prize:
Tiffany O'Callaghan, New Scientist, United Kingdom
Joanne Silberner, Freelance journalist, US

Joint 2nd Prize:
Cristiane Hawranek & Marco Maurer, Freelance journalists, Germany
Ainhoa Iriberri, Revista Salud, Spain

In addition, the judges also recognised the work of Ugandan journalist Esther Nakkazi and Zimbabwe-based journalist Busani Bafana. These two journalists highlighted the struggle faced in addressing cancer in low-income countries and the role of the media in spotlighting specific problems.

2012 - Best Cancer Reporter Award

1st Prize: Bernhard Albrecht, Der Spiegel, Germany

2nd Prize: Clive Cookson, Financial Times, United Kingdom

In addition, British journalist Cassandra Jardine (Daily Telegraph) and British journalist Steve Connor (Independent) received a Special Merit Award certificate that recognises the excellence of their work.

2011 - Best Cancer Reporter Award

Joint 1st Prize:
Mark Henderson, The Times, United Kingdom
Victoria Lambert, Freelance journalist, United Kingdom

2nd Prize: Martina Keller, Freelance journalist, Germany

In addition, the work of Silja Paavle who writes for Öhtuleht, one of Estonia’s highest circulation daily newspapers, was highly commended by the judges.

2010 - Best Cancer Reporter Award

1st Prize: Nicola Kuhrt, Die Zeit, Germany

2nd Prize: Mark Henderson, The Times, United Kingdom

Romanian journalist Paula Herlo received a special BCRA Campaigner Award in recognition of her campaigning work of Romania's Pro TV News.
In addition, Polish journalist Slawomir Zagorski who writes for Gazeta Wyborcza, received a Special Merit Award.

2009 - Best Cancer Reporter Award

Joint 1st Prize:

Margaret McCartney, Financial Times, United Kingdom
Linda Geddes, New Scientist, United Kingdom

2nd Prize: Rabiya Tuma, The Economist, US

In addition, Italian journalist Daniela Ovadia and Portuguese journalist Nelson Marques received a Special Merit Award.

2008 - Best Cancer Reporter Award

1st Prize:
Simon Crompton, The Times, United Kingdom
2nd Prize: Ulrich Bahnsen, Die Zeit, Germany
3rd Prize: Päivi Repo, Helsingin Sanomat, Finland

2007 - Best Cancer Reporter Award

1st Prize:
Pawel Walewski, Polityka, Poland

Joint 2nd Prize:

Maria Valerio Sainz, El Mundo, Spain
Linda Geddes, New Scientist, UK

In addition, Eric Baumann from the Tages-Anzeiger, Switzerland and Iva Shohova from the Prague Post, Czech Republic received a Special Merit Award in recognition of their willingness to write about their personal cancer experience in order to raise awareness about some of the difficulties faced by cancer patients as they progress through their cancer journey.

2006 - Best Cancer Reporter Award

1st Prize:
Sarah Boseley, the Guardian, UK

2nd Prize:
Catherine Kalamis, Guernsey Press, UK
Simon Crompton, The Times, UK

3rd Prize: Paul Benkimoun, Le Monde, France