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What are some causes of pain in the spleen?

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Quick Answer

A lacerated or ruptured spleen, an enlarged spleen and spleen cancer are some causes of spleen-related pain, according to LiveScience. The spleen is located in the upper left quadrant of the abdomen, so pain in that area may be related to an issue with that organ.

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Full Answer

Trauma is the typical cause of a laceration or rupture of the spleen, explains LiveScience. A person with such an injury may have pain in the upper left abdomen, left shoulder and left chest wall. He may also experience confusion and lightheadedness. Internal bleeding may occur, which potentially leads to shock, so this injury requires emergency medical attention.

Infections, liver and blood diseases, and cancer are some causes of an enlarged spleen, states LiveScience. Often there are no symptoms of this condition, but pain in the upper left abdomen that spreads to the shoulder, a feeling of fullness, easy bleeding, anemia and fatigue are possible signs of an enlarged spleen.

Cancer rarely begins in the spleen, according to LiveScience. If cancer is present in that organ, it is likely to have spread from cancer in another organ. Pain or fullness in the upper abdomen, as well as cold-like symptoms, may signal the presence of spleen cancer.

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