Cancer Keys: Leukaemia and Hepatosplenomegaly

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Swelling of the liver and spleen can be due to a number of causes such as infection, however in some cases it can be an indicator of leukaemia.

A patient with an enlarged spleen may present with a feeling of discomfort or pain behind the left ribs and feel full very quickly after eating.

Helpful hint

NICE NG12 guidelines advise that unexplained hepatosplenomegaly in children requires a referral for immediate specialist assessment, and in adults a very urgent full blood count (within 48 hours).

Be aware: an enlarged spleen can be a symptom of lymphoma. NICE NG12 guidelines advise to take into account any associated symptoms, particularly fever, night sweats, shortness of breath, pruritus or weight loss.

Cancer Keys are brought to you by GatewayC.

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Latest from the Blog

World Cancer Day 2021

World Cancer Day 2021

4th February 2021 The 4th of February 2021 marks World Cancer Day 2021. This year, the theme #IAmAndIWill encourages us to recognise our own commitments to improving cancer outcomes. GatewayC now has over 19 free online cancer education courses which can help primary...

read more

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Potential pitfall: Jaundice can be a classic symptom of pancreatic cancer; about half of patients have jaundice when they first go to their GP. Yet, pancreatic cancer is difficult to diagnose as symptoms can vary or may be late, vague and non-specific. Helpful hint:...

read more
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Potential pitfall: Faecal calprotectin testing is an incredibly sensitive investigation for detecting the presence of inflammation. It is raised in a wide variety of conditions including malignancy, inflammatory bowel disease and alcohol misuse. It is therefore not...

read more