Significantdifferences in cancer incidence between urban and rural women have been reported and for the same type of cancer, rural women are generally diagnosed at a later stage and have decreased survival rates as opposed to their urban counterparts. This has been shown for cancers such as breast, colo-rectum in both developed and developing countries. Rural women may suffer significant inequalities in terms of access to medical care and health awareness and these women tend to be less educated with lower economic means. Poorer hygienic conditions tend to aggravate physical threats in rural areas. Conversely, mechanized life-style, stress and air pollution are more widespread in urban environment.
Currently,lifestyle homogenization, particularly in developed countries, and the increased opportunities to healthcare access in rural population, has led to a minimal difference in cancer pattern. However, within Asia, large differences in cancer pattern are found between urban and rural population. Incidence rates of cancers such as cervix uteri, esophagus, stomach etc. are generally low in urban than rural population. In contrast to this, cancers such as breast, corpus uteri, ovary, colo-rectum etc. incidence rates are higher in urban than rural.