NCCN Guidelines for Patients
Waldenström’s Macroglobulinemia, Version 1.2017
Testing for WM
Staging is the process of rating and describing the
extent of cancer in your body. There is no standard
staging system (such as Stage I, II, III, etc.) for
WM like there is for other cancer types. This is also
true for other blood cancers that may not form solid
Doctors use the International Prognostic Scoring
System for WM. This system uses specific factors
seen with WM. The factors help group people with
WM into high risk, intermediate (middle) risk, and low
risk. These factors are considered for prognosis.
The factors include:
Age- 65 years or older
Hemoglobin level 11.5 g/dL or less
Platelet count 100,000/mcL or less
Beta-2 microglobulin more than 3 mg/L
IgM level more than 7 g/dL
For people with WM, the high-risk group has more
than 2 factors. Intermediate risk is people 65 years
or older and those who have two factors. The low-
risk group has no factor or those people older than
65 who have 1 factor. The doctor considers the level
of risk at diagnosis. More information from research
is needed when using the system for treatment
Two basic tools of diagnosis are when your
doctor takes your medical history and does an
exam of your body.
Blood tests give the doctor information to plan
the next steps for other testing or treatment.
If WM or another similar disease is suspected,
your blood will be tested for certain levels of
Tissue or fluid must be removed from your body
and tested to diagnose cancer.
Your age, overall health including other medical
conditions, and symptoms play a part in
whether you get treatment or not for WM.
What to know about
Your doctors will order tests and
schedule visits to talk about your care
plan. This happens whether you are being
watched for symptoms of WM or getting
It is helpful to keep track of your test
results at all times. Ask your doctors
questions about the results.