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Roanoke Rapids’ Rural Health Group can bolster its breast cancer awareness outreach programs even further after receiving a $45,000 grant earlier this month.

The grant was awarded by the Avon Breast Health Outreach Program and Patricia Peele, a women’s health educator with Rural Health Group, said the funding recognizes their program’s excellence.

“I think we’re the only grantee in North Carolina,” she said. “Really, basically, it’s because of our situation here.”

Peele said Northeastern North Carolina’s mortality rate from breast cancer is higher than the state average, which is partly why the program received the money.

However, she said breast cancer incident rates, the number of women being diagnosed, have fallen because 0Rural Health Group has worked to boost awareness for several years. Awareness leads to early detection, Peele said, and early detection saves lives.

“With early detection, it is expected women will live longer because they will get the treatment they need,” Peele said.

When the area’s breast cancer mortality rates were high, Peele said it was because women were not being screened early. Most were only screened too late…

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