Background: We analyze the prevalence and risk factors of cancer in the member states of the “Belt and Road”, to explore the basis of health and medical cooperation between countries, and to provide a foundation for formulating cancer prevention and control policies for building the healthy "Belt and Road".
Methods: We apply incidence, mortality, age-standardized rates, and population attributable fractions (PAFs) to measure the prevalence and risk factors of cancers in the “Belt and Road” countries.
Results: Lung, breast, colorectal, stomach, liver, prostate, cervical, esophageal, thyroid, and uterine cancers are the most common and highest mortality cancers in the “Belt and Road” countries. For men, the highest cancer incidence and mortality is Hungary (ASR, 289.3 per 100,000 and ASR, 235.7 per 100,000, respectively), followed by Latvia (ASR, 288.6 per 100,000 and ASR, 196.5 per 100,000, respectively), the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia enjoy the lowest (ASR, 34.3 per 100,000 and ASR, 36.1 per 100,000, respectively). The mortality and incidence rates of cancers in Greek and Brunei are highest in females (ASR, 238.7 per 100,000 and ASR, 192.3 per 100,000, respectively). Tobacco products, infectious factors, and ultraviolet rays are the three main cancer risk factors in the “Belt and Road” countries.
Conclusion: The overall burden of cancer in the “Belt and Road” member states remains substantial, while the corresponding cancer prevention and control policies need to be improved. Enhancing health cooperation among the member countries will contribute to the joint response to the risks and challenges posed by cancer. (249 words)