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Spleen cancer

Spleen cancer

M131/0463

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Credit

CNRI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CNRI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Spleen cancer. Gross specimen of the spleen of a patient showing a myeloma cancer (pale, upper centre). This is a cancer of plasma cells that usually occurs in bone marrow. Plasma cells secrete antibodies for the immune system. As the cancer usually derives from only one type of plasma cell, a massive overabundance of one type of antibody is produced, at the expense of others. This severely weakens the immune system, making the patient susceptible to infections, and making normally harmless infections life threatening. Treatment is with radiotherapy and chemotherapy, and early diagnosis greatly improves the chances of a cure.

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