Leukaemia blood cells, SEM

Leukaemia blood cells, SEM

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This image is part of the feature Close Look At Cancer

Credit: STEVE GSCHMEISSNER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Leukaemia blood cells. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of blood cells filtered from a patient suffering from chronic lymphocytic leukaemia, a form of cancer. The disease results from an increase in circulating levels of white blood cells (lymphocytes, light pink). This causes a reduction in red blood cells (erythrocytes, red) and other blood components. Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia may develop slowly over several years with no symptoms, but it can cause enlargement of the liver and spleen, and anaemia. Treatment in severe cases includes anti-cancer drugs and radiotherapy, with antibiotics to combat infection. Magnification: x1500 at 6x7cm size.

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