Waldenstrom’s lymphoma is a rare form
of B-cell lymphoma, making up 1% to 2% of all NHL cases and typically affects
older adults. WM normally develops over a long period of time. Symptoms are not
usually obvious, and the cancer is often found by chance when getting a routine
blood test or an examination for some other reason.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms may include weakness,
fatigue and bruising because of altered blood cell levels. Lymph nodes may be
enlarged, as may the liver and spleen.
Because there may be a thickening of
the blood when the IgM antibody is present, this can cause other symptoms
including blurry vision, headaches, hearing loss or confusion.
Other tests that help confirm the
diagnosis include bone marrow biopsy, ultrasound and/or CT scan (to determine
whether the spleen or liver are enlarged).
How is it treated?
Treatment may include combination
chemotherapy medicines with a monoclonal antibody, targeted therapies or
surgery to remove the spleen. A procedure called plasma exchange (or
plasmapheresis) may be used to treat the blood thickening (hyperviscosity)
associated with this disease by temporarily taking out the affected plasma and
replacing it with donated plasma. This will not treat the disease directly but
give some relief of symptoms of the lymphoma.
WM patients are encouraged to
complete this patient survey to assist with the global research for this
subtype of lymphoma.
For more detailed information or to download our fact sheet please click here WM Lymphoma