The spleen carries out many functions in the body. The organ—which lies below the left ribs— is part of the lymphatic system. It not only filters the blood but also helps fight invading pathogens. Interestingly, though, it is possible to live without a spleen, though this leaves individuals more susceptible to infection. Many conditions can affect the spleen; it is not uncommon for various diseases to cause an enlarged spleen.
The spleen—a soft, squishy organ—plays various critical roles. In addition to recycling old red blood cells, it serves as storage for platelets and white blood cells, the former of which is essential for blood clotting. As part of the immune system, it also produces white blood cells and antibodies, both of which help to prevent infection.
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