NCCN Guidelines for Patients
Waldenström’s Macroglobulinemia, Version 1.2017
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
The blood becomes thick from IgM
(hyperviscosity) and can’t travel through small