Rural–urban differences in stage at diagnosis. Possible relationship to cancer screening

Jonathan M. Liff, Wong‐Ho ‐H Chow, Raymond S. Greenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

185 Scopus citations


Stage at diagnosis was examined for various malignancies identifiable through screening to determine whether rural–urban differences exist in Georgia. Data were obtained from a population‐based cancer registry which registers all incident cancers among residents of metropolitan Atlanta and ten neighboring rural counties. Black and white patients with a first primary invasive malignancy newly diagnosed between 1978 and 1985 were included in this study. Residents of the rural area were twice as likely to have unstaged cancers (18.3%) as were urban residents (9.6%). Among patients with known stage at diagnosis, rural patients tended to have more advanced disease than urban patients. The relative excess of nonlocalized malignancies in rural Georgia was 21% for whites and 37% for blacks. The rural excess of nonlocalized prostate cancer among blacks was especially pronounced. Differences in access to or utilization of early detection methods may contribute to the rural–urban differential in the extent of disease at diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1454-1459
Number of pages6
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 1 1991
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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