Types of cancer

Spleen Neoplasm

Spleen cancer is a rare tumor that develops in the spleen, an organ located below the ribs on the left side. Feeling of a full belly after eating, bleeding and anemia are some of the symptoms. It is not possible to prevent this tumor. Learn more.
3 min read
per: Grupo Oncoclínicas
Spleen Neoplasm
Spleen cancer is a rare tumor that develops in this organ located below the ribs on the left side. It is not preventable.

What is spleen neoplasm

Spleen neoplasm is the disordered growth of cells in the spleen, an organ located just below the ribs, on the left side of the body, which has the main functions of filtering damaged blood cells, producing white blood cells (and thus preventing infections) and helping to clot the blood. blood (by storing red blood cells and platelets).

Spleen neoplasms can be malignant or benign and can start in the organ or come from other parts of the body (metastases). In all cases, it is a rare disease with no defined cause.

Subtypes of spleen neoplasm

Spleen neoplasms are classified as primary (malignant or benign) and secondary (malignant).

Primary malignant spleen neoplasms

  • Lymphoma – the primary location of lymphoma in the spleen represents less than 1% of all lymphomas and is typically non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. There are four patterns of lymphoma in the spleen currently described: diffuse infiltration; small, focal or miliary nodules; multiple large nodular lesions; and solid and voluminous masses; and
  • Angiosarcoma – although rare, angiosarcoma in the spleen is the most common primary malignancy in this organ. It is a highly aggressive tumor with little chance of cure.
  • Benign primary spleen neoplasms
  • Hemangioma – is the most common benign neoplasm of the spleen. These are blood vessels abnormally accumulated in the organ, which may present peripheral calcifications;
  • Lymphangioma is a rare, slow-growing benign neoplasm common in childhood. In the spleen, it appears as a set of cysts of varying sizes;
  • Hamartoma – this is a rare benign lesion, consisting of malformations of the red pulp of the spleen; and
  • Litoral cell angioma – is a rare vascular tumor that arises in the littoral cell, which lines the sinuses of the red pulp of the spleen, and covers the organ in a diffuse way, with multiple nodular masses of varying sizes.

Secondary malignant spleen neoplasms

The appearance of metastases in the spleen is relatively uncommon. The malignant tumors that most commonly spread to the spleen are:

  • Melanoma;
  • Breast cancer;
  • Lung cancer;
  • Ovary cancer;
  • Colon cancer;
  • Stomach cancer; and
  • Pancreatic cancer.

Symptoms of spleen neoplasm

Spleen cancer can cause the organ to become larger, which leads to:

  • Belly feeling too full after eating;
  • Pain in the upper left side of the belly;
  • Frequent infections;
  • Bleeding at random;
  • Anemia;
  • Purple spots on the body;
  • Fatigue;
  • Pain in bones and joints;
  • Lymph nodes;
  • Fever;
  • Sweating with trembling;
  • Weight loss for no apparent reason; and
  • Swelling in the belly.

Diagnosis of spleen neoplasm

The specialist doctor requests a series of tests when, because of a set of symptoms, he suspects the presence of a neoplasm in the spleen.

Initially, a complete blood count is requested, to check the blood cell count. A bone marrow biopsy is necessary in some cases, with a small sample of the hip bone taken and analyzed for cancer cells. When lymph nodes are part of the symptoms, they are also biopsied.

Imaging tests such as MRI, CT and PET Scan help to close the diagnosis.

Treatment of spleen neoplasm

In case of malignant neoplasms, splenectomy – partial or total removal of the spleen – is one of the treatment options. It can be done laparoscopically (minimally invasive surgery, done with small incisions in the belly and using cameras to guide the removal of the spleen with a thin cannula) or by open surgery (a large incision in the center of the belly to remove the spleen ).

Studies have already shown that most patients who undergo splenectomy do not need additional treatments for up to five years, depending on cell origin and subtype.

In addition, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and targeted therapy drugs may be indicated. This will depend on the type of tumor the patient has.

Stem cell transplantation may be considered, to replace abnormal, diseased cells with normal, healthy ones.

In addition, in some situations, a monoclonal antibody, rituximab, is used to control the disease without surgical interventions.

People without symptoms tend not to need treatment, but they should undergo a biannual medical follow-up, with blood tests and evaluation of the general clinical condition.

Prevention of spleen neoplasm

Due to the lack of a defined cause, there are no known ways to prevent spleen cancer.

 

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