LUNG cancer diagnosis at the Alexandra Hospital could be transformed, after it received a huge donation from the League of Friends.

The charity has raised an impressive £132,000, which is being invested in a state-of-the-art endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS).

The new equipment mean patients will be able to be tested, without the need for invasive chest surgery.

Instead patients will be given local anaesthetic, and a flexible ultrasound tube will be guided through their mouth into their lungs, and ultrasound images and sample cells will be taken.

The new procedure will take less than an hour and results will be available straight away.

The machine will benefit up to 50 patients a year, and it will reduce the amount of time taken to start treatment by as much as three weeks.

Dr Abhi Lal, consultant respiratory physician, said: “This is a fantastic development for the Alexandra Hospital, and for patients across Worcestershire.

“there are only about five of these machines in the west Midlands, so we’re really privileged to be able to offer this. It wouldn’t have been possible without the help of the League of Friends, we’re very grateful for everything they’ve done.”

Pat Hadley, chair of the League of Friends, added: “When we saw what the EBUS could do to help lung patients we knew we had to do everything possible to make the machine available in Worcestershire.

“It took us 12 months and over 3,000 hours of volunteer work to raise the funds and we’re over the moon that it’s finally here. It’ll put the Alex on the map for all the right reasons.”

The equipment has already had its first use at the hospital.