CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- A new University of Virginia Cancer Center study shows women in rural areas have less resources to prevent certain cancers.

About 81 percent of both urban and rural women were up to date on their breast cancer screenings, but only 78 percent of rural women were following the colorectal cancer screening guidelines.

The researchers said the gap may stem from slow arrivals of new screening methods and other barriers, like access to testing. The researchers also said a lot of rural patients get diagnosed at later stages, meaning they don't have many chances to prevent cancer.

"We need to sort of have better systems in place so that all Americans, regardless of where they are geographically located, receive the best possible care for their health conditions," said Dr. Rajesh Balkrishnan, a professor of public health sciences.

Balkrishnan said more incentives should be in place for doctors to serve these rural areas to help educate patients about the importance of preventative care.