Purpose: The burden of cancer impacts many of the world's top concerns, but little information is published about the characteristics of cancer prevalence in the poor population. Materials and methods: Data on cancer prevalence were obtained from the Health Poverty Alleviation Information System of Heilongjiang province. Prevalence was defined as all living cancer cases on October 1, 2018. Geographical area, cancer site, sex, age, educational level, and time since diagnosis were investigated. Results: There were 10,529 cancer cases among 624,869 poor rural people in Heilongjiang up to October 1, 2018, and 77% of them did not have labor ability. Females accounted for 53.4%. The top five common cancers were lung, breast, colorectal, stomach, and liver cancer. There were distinct regional, sex, and age distribution differences in cancers. The prevalence rate for overall cancers was 1,685.0 per 100,000 people, which was much higher than that of the national level. Cancer prevalence peaked at an earlier age group (65-69 year). The 5-year cancer prevalence was 80.1% of the total cases. Conclusion: Cancer imposes significant health and financial burdens in the rural poor. This study presents total and partial prevalence for the first time using actual dates from a large poor population in China, providing valuable information for tailored cancer prevention and control, quantifying the cancer burden and identifying priorities for poverty alleviation plans.