Wirral Hospital’s new Breast Centre was been officially opened this week offering state-of-the-art facilities in the battle against cancer.

Set in a newly-refurbished unit in Clatterbridge Hospital, it houses the latest in medical technology including three digital mammography machines and two new ultrasound machines.

The unit is the second largest in the North West and works closely with the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre.

It screens around 13,000 women per year and sees approximately 3,000 new symptomatic patient referrals per year. Out of this number about 400 patients will be diagnosed with breast cancer.

David Allison, chief executive of Wirral University Teaching Hospital, said: “This can often be a worrying time for patients, so it’s important to make this journey for them as comfortable as possible.

“We have a fantastic specialist team working for the Wirral Breast Centre. Providing a clean and modern first class facility can only add to an all round better experience for patients and their families.”

Early diagnosis of breast cancer means a better chance of survival.

UK women aged between 50 and 70 are invited for screening once every three years.

Patients with breast cancer symptoms, such as a lump or change in appearance are referred by their GP and seen in clinic within ten working days.

The unit was officially opened by Wirral South MP Alison McGovern, who said: “I was struck by the feel of the place. It is such a bright environment which is so important when someone is faced with such anxiety.

“The staff are what really make the difference but it is great to see modern equipment that complements the level of skill and it makes me very proud as MP for Wirral South to have this unit in my constituency.”

In addition to the newly-refurbished facility at Clatterbridge, the Wirral Breast Centre has also launched a new satellite digital breast screening service at St Catherine’s Health Centre in Birkenhead.