Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Incidence Symptoms Evaluation Treatment specialist Home Care taking control warning signs Underlying Cause Anatomy

Beta Thalassemia Underlying Cause

Thalassemia is caused by a gene that reduces the production of hemoglobin. Hemoglobin carries oxygen inside red blood cells. The lack of hemoglobin causes destruction of the red blood cells, which results in anemia.

Genes control the functions inside a cell. Special genes control how cells divide and grow. Cancer occurs when the damaged genes stimulate the cell to multiply out of control. The exact cause for this damage is unknown.


  • DNA
  • Genes on chromosomes
  • Cancer cells
  • Cancer cell division

Continue to Beta Thalassemia Anatomy

Last Updated: Aug 11, 2008 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Beta Thalassemia References
  1. Cohen AR, Galanello R, Pennell DJ, Cunningham MJ, Vichinsky E. Thalassemia. Hematology (Am Soc Hematol Educ Program). 2004;:14-34. [15561674]
  2. Gu X, Zeng Y. A review of the molecular diagnosis of thalassemia. Hematology. 2002 Aug;7(4):203-9. [14972782]
  3. Mohammadian S, Bazrafshan HR, Sadeghi-Nejad A. Endocrine gland abnormalities in thalassemia major: a brief review. J Pediatr Endocrinol Metab. 2003 Sep;16(7):957-64. [1451387]
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