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NCCN Guidelines for Patients



Waldenström’s Macroglobulinemia, Version 1.2017


Testing for WM



Tissue or fluid must be removed from your body

and be tested to diagnose cancer. A biopsy

removes the samples of fluid or tissue. Sometimes

a sample of tissue from the biopsy does not

have enough cells to check for cancer. It can be

abnormal but not cancer. If this happens, you will

have another biopsy. The most common biopsies

for WM are:



Bone marrow aspiration

removes a small

amount of liquid bone marrow to test for




Bone marrow biopsy

removes a small

amount of solid bone and bone marrow to test

for disease.



Lymph node biopsy

removes a small core or

an entire lymph node.

Often, these bone marrow tests are done at the

same time on the back of hip bone. You may

receive a light sedative before the test. You will

likely lie on your side as shown in

Figure 4.

Your doctor will clean your skin then give local

anesthesia to numb the site. Once numb, a hollow

needle will be inserted into your skin and then

pushed into the bone to remove the liquid bone

marrow with a syringe. Then, a wider needle will be

inserted into the bone and rotated to remove bone

and soft marrow. These biopsies may cause bone

pain and can bruise your skin for a few days. The

samples will be sent to a lab for testing.

Figure 4

Bone marrow biopsy

Doctors use a bone marrow

biopsy to remove a sample of

bone and marrow for testing.

Illustration Copyright © 2016 Nucleus Medical Media, All rights reserved.