What Is WM?What Is WM?

What Is WM?

Understanding Waldenström’s Macroglobulinemia

Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia (WM) may seem overwhelming at first, but understanding it can help you feel more at ease.

WM is a rare type of lymphoma that usually progresses slowly. In WM, abnormal B cells grow out of control and may crowd out healthy B cells in your bone marrow, lymph nodes, or other organs. When this happens, you are more likely to get infections and experience other symptoms mentioned below.1

With the slow buildup of abnormal B cells, many people don't have any symptoms for years. Routine blood tests, such as a complete blood count (CBC) or total protein level, may show anemia or a high protein level due to the high IgM levels before you notice any symptoms.1

Your doctor will make sure you have routine blood tests to get a more detailed picture of your condition. This will help you and your doctor make a plan for your WM treatment.

What are the most common WM symptoms?1

  • Enlarged lymph nodes
  • Bleeding
  • Fever
  • Tiredness
  • Night sweats
  • Infections
  • Weight loss
  • Peripheral neuropathy (numbness or a painful "pins and needles" sensation in the feet, legs, and hands)

In WM, the abnormal B cells
crowd out healthy B cells.

References: 1Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Waldenström macroglobulinemia. Accessed August 29, 2022. https://www.lls.org/sites/default/files/2021-07/FS20_Waldenstrom_FactSheet_2021.pdf 2American Cancer Society. What is non-Hodgkin lymphoma? Accessed August 18, 2022. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/non-hodgkin-lymphoma/about/what-is-non-hodgkin-lymphoma.html 3American Cancer Society. Lymph nodes and cancer. Accessed August 18, 2022. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-basics/lymph-nodes-and-cancer.html 4National Cancer Institute. NCI dictionary of terms. August 18, 2022. https://www.cancer.gov/publications/dictionaries/cancer-terms

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