Spleen cancer: What are the symptoms?

Spleen cancer usually develops when cancer from another part of the body, most commonly lymphomas and leukemias, spreads to this fist-sized organ.
The spleen is located under the rib cage, on the left side of the body. It is part of the lymphatic system and plays a role in helping the body fight disease. This role means that it can also be considered part of the immune system.

The spleen performs the following functions for the body:

– filter the blood
– removal of old, abnormal or damaged blood cells
– storage of blood cells
– fight infections
– send blood to the liver.
It is also possible to live without a spleen, although it is a very important organ.

Doctors may remove the spleen following injury or disease, including cancer. In this case, the person’s life is not noticeably changed, but they may become more susceptible to infections and should take precautions.

What causes spleen cancer?

Cancer that first begins in the spleen is a rare event. Researchers believe this occurs in less than 2% of all lymphomas and 1% of all non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas.
A form of cancer that develops in the spleen is called splenic marginal zone lymphoma or SMZL, which is considered a type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Since most cancers affecting the spleen are cancers that have spread from another location, understanding the causes of spleen cancer comes down to looking at the causes of these other diseases.

Most cancers that start in the spleen are some kind of lymphoma or leukemia. Most of the time, it is not possible to find a specific cause for lymphoma.
Nevertheless, researchers have identified factors that may increase the risk of developing lymphoma, including:

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– be older
– be a man
– having a parent with lymphoma
– have immune complications
– be exposed or vulnerable to infections
Several studies have identified a link between chronic hepatitis C virus infection and the risk of developing a particular type of cancer, B-cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which can lead to cancer of the spleen. Researchers have also identified possible links between spleen cancer and environmental hazards, such as thorium dioxide or vinyl chloride monomer.

What are the symptoms of spleen cancer?

People with spleen cancer may experience a variety of symptoms, or in some cases none at all. About 25% of people with the disease have no symptoms.

The most common symptoms of spleen cancer are:

– an increase in the size of the spleen, which may become twice as large as normal.
– pain in the abdomen, usually in the upper left corner
– weakness
– unexplained weight loss
– tired
– fever
– night sweats
– high level of lymphocytes in the blood
However, it is essential to remember that an enlarged spleen does not necessarily mean that a person has spleen cancer.

Signs of a possible problem

Swollen lymph nodes can be a sign of spleen cancer. Spleen cancer is very often due to lymphomas and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in particular, so it is useful to know the signs of this disease.

Signs include:

– swollen, but usually painless, lymph nodes in the armpits, groin, and sides of the neck
– feeling of exhaustion
– alternating chills and fever
– easy bruising
– frequent infections
– swollen belly, sometimes painful
– lack of appetite
– feeling full with very little food
– effortless weight loss

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When to consult a doctor

People with any of the symptoms listed above should see a doctor for check-up and treatment if necessary. Remember that these symptoms can be caused by factors other than cancer. For example, an infection can lead to swollen lymph nodes. Since there is no screening test for spleen cancer and the disease can develop without symptoms, it is always wise to have a doctor check for any concerning signs.

How is spleen cancer diagnosed?

Doctors use various tools to diagnose spleen cancer. The most direct and conclusive method is the analysis of a tissue sample from the spleen. It’s also the most invasive, and doctors prefer to use other approaches first.

Alternatives include

– the establishment of a complete medical history
– ultrasound imaging or tomography
– ask for blood tests
– a bone marrow analysis.

* The information and services available on pressesante.com in no way replace the consultation of competent health professionals. [HighProtein-Foods.com]

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