A NEW £22milion cancer treatment centre will be known as the 'Lanarkshire Beatson' to forge close ties with Glasgow's world-leading service.

Health chiefs have approved the full business case for a new satellite radiotherapy unit at Monklands Hospital, in Airdrie, which will treat patients from Lanarkshire and some parts of east Glasgow and Forth Valley.

It will be equipped with the most advanced technology to deliver the same world-class treatment and techniques currently provided at the Glasgow centre, treating breast, bowel, prostate and lung cancer,

Patient groups in Lanarkshire, Glasgow, Forth Valley and Ayrshire were consulted about the name of the new facility and said the Beatson name was valued and trusted.

The new facility will operate as a satellite of the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre. The Beatson is the busiest radiotherapy centre in the UK and is already operating at capacity levels.

The demand for cancer treatment in the population is expected to continue to increase by 3% each year.

Ian Ross, Chief Executive of NHS Lanarkshire, said: "This is an exciting development that will offer excellent premises for patients from across Lanarkshire and the west of Scotland."

The full business case will now be referred to the Scottish Government for consideration on April 22.

If approved, construction would start in May with the centre expected to be operational by the end of 2015.

Dr George Beatson was the director of the Glasgow Cancer Hospital - Scotland's first dedicated cancer hospital - built in 1894, and an international pioneers in the treatment of breast cancer.

caroline.wilson@ eveningtimes.co.uk