THE Northern Division has recorded a drop in the number of breast cancer and breast lump cases this year compared to the same period last year.
So far, the Labasa Hospital has received a total of 21 cases compared to 41 last year.
Acting divisional medical officer northern Doctor Pablo Romakin said despite the trivial improvement in such cases, most women diagnosed with the deadly disease were still silent about their conditions.
As part of the breast cancer awareness month, health officials in the north continue to conduct outreach screening and awareness activities in the communities in their bid to educate people on the disease.
Dr Romakin said it was only proper for women to receive immediate health care in order to be treated.
"Most women don't fully understand the disease spectrum of cancer which prompts them to fear undergoing an operation," Dr Romakin said.
"Others prefer traditional medicine, refuse to attend clinic because they don't feel sick or think that the breast lump will just go away with massage or by using herbal leaves or poultice.
"They prioritise more important things than their own lives and also they have various degrees of lack of trust in health-care."
He said prevention was always better than cure especially with breast cancer.
"If women are over 40 years, they should undergo a mammogram annually, the examination of human breasts which is also available at the Labasa Hospital and those in their 20s should develop a habit of self-examination of breast on a monthly basis," he said.
"Women should stop smoking, reduce their consumption of fatty foods, alcohol intake and exercise daily to keep fit and healthy," said Dr Romakin.