A NEW charity has been launched to support one of the busiest cancer centres in the UK.

The Beatson Cancer Charity aims to attract more than £20 million of funding over the next five years for the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre in Glasgow.

Money raised will be used to help support patients and their families at the non-surgical cancer care centre, which serves about half of the Scottish population and treats 8000 new patients every year.

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It will also go towards medical equipment, staff training and longer-term research to improve cancer treatments and outcomes.

More than one in three people are affected by the disease in the west of Scotland, the highest cancer rate in Europe, the charity said.

The new organisation was formed from a amerger of the Friends of the Beatson and the Beatson Oncology Centre Fund.