WM Lymphoma

1 What is Waldenstrom Macroglobulinemia?

Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia is a cancer that develops in white blood cells of human body.

In this disorder, bone marrow produces too many white blood cells. These white blood cells are abnormal and cannot perform their normal function. The tissue which produce white blood cells undergoes neoplastic change and produces these abnormal cells.

2 Symptoms

The common signs and symptoms of Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia include:

  • easy bruising,
  • bleeding from gums,
  • fatigue,
  • weight loss,
  • frequent infections,
  • numbness in hands or feet,
  • headache,
  • shortness of breath,
  • hearing problems,
  • changes in vision,
  • confusion.

3 Causes

Neoplastic transformation of normal bone marrow tissue is the cause of Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia. The transformation of normal tissue to abnormal bone marrow is done by triggers.

Common triggers include:

  • radiation,
  • virus,
  • chemical toxins,
  • polycyclic aromatic compounds.

4 Making a Diagnosis

The diagnosis of Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia includes physical examination and further tests including:

  • Blood test - it includes identification of pathological proteins and enzymes. Common blood count is also taken into consideration.
  • Bone marrow biopsy - during a bone marrow biopsy doctor uses a thin needle to extract the biopsy material is sent for laboratory examination.
  • Imaging tests - it includes x-ray examination, computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging.

5 Treatment

Treatment options for Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia include:

  • Plasma exchange - doctor may replace the plasma by replacing it with healthy.
  • Chemotherapy - this therapy kills quickly growing cells, such as abnormal cells produced in waldenstrom macroglobulinaemia.
  • Target therapy - targeted therapy includes killing cancer cells by focusing on specific abnormalities.
  • Biological therapy - Special drugs are used to stimulate immune system and kill cancer cells.
  • Stem cell transplant - in this therapy healthy bone marrow is inserted into the long bones to treat woldenstrom macroglobulinaemia.

6 Alternative and Homeopathic Remedies

No alternative and homeopathic remedies can cure waldenstrom macroglobulinemia.

7 Lifestyle and Coping

Lifestyle modifications are necessary in order to cope with Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia.

Contacting some support groups will provide moral support and talking to people with similar condition will help share experiences and provide mental relief.

8 Risks and Complications

There are several risks and complications associated with Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia.

Risks include:

  • having cancerous processes in other organs of body,
  • infections such as cytomegalovirus,
  • family history of cancer.

Complications include:

  • metastasis to different parts of the body,
  • bleeding may lead to hypotension and death.
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