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NCCN Guidelines for Patients



Waldenström’s Macroglobulinemia, Version 1.2017


Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia


Doctors need to assess your health and learn about

your symptoms. Keep in mind, symptoms of WM can

happen with other medical conditions. For example,

some people with WM also have constitutional

symptoms. This includes things like fever, extreme

tiredness, weight loss, or the chills. Yet, some people

with WM have no symptoms at all.

Your doctor may think you have this cancer when he

or she finds abnormal levels on a regular blood test

or you have symptoms. These things can be found

during a routine visit. Currently, there is no screening

test for WM. Screening is when tests are done on a

regular basis to detect a disease in someone without


It is important to tell the doctor how you are feeling

during your visit or call if you have any symptoms.

Ask what tests you will have to find out what is

causing the symptoms. If WM is suspected, your

doctor will check for IgM in your blood. If needed, he

or she can order a bone marrow aspiration and bone

marrow biopsy to confirm a diagnosis of WM. Find

out more about testing for WM in Part 2.




WM is a type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.



Lymphoma is a type of cancer that starts in the

cells of the immune system.



Cancer is a disease of abnormal cells that can

grow out of control in your body.



A type of protein called IgM (






), which in this case is all of the same type, is

found in the blood of people with WM.



A main characteristic of WM is having IgM in

the blood. It can be at high levels and this can

cause symptoms.



The blood becomes thick from IgM

(hyperviscosity) and can’t travel through small

blood vessels.