This study was carried out to assess the breast cancer knowledge, attitudes, and awareness of women age 40 to 74 in Alberta, a Canadian province of 2.4 million people. This analysis compares the attributes of 538 rural women, defined as those living between 1 and 3 hr drive from the major cities in Alberta, and 735 urban women who lived in one of these two cities. Rural women were found to have the same basic knowledge of breast cancer or perceptions of barriers to mammography, but had more negative attitudes about breast cancer itself. Despite their similar access to physician care, they were less likely to have had a recent clinical breast examination or mammogram (P less than 0.001). These differences remained when adjustment was made for demographic background variables; the adjusted prevalence rate ratio for a screening mammogram in the past 2 years was 0.52 (95% C.I., 0.43, 0.64), and for intention to have a mammogram in the next 2 years, 0.75 (0.63, 0.90). The results suggest particular program delivery strategies when planning for provision of breast screening information and service to the large subgroup of rural women.