What is WM?
Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia (WM) is a rare, slow-growing cancer of the lymphatic system. Cancers of the lymphatic system are called lymphomas. WM is a type of lymphoma called non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is not a single disease; it refers to a group of different lymphomas that start in the lymphocytes (white blood cells). WM affects a specific type of white blood cell, called a B-lymphocyte or B-cell for short.
What type of lymphoma is Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia?
WM is the most common form of a sub-type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma called lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma (LPL). WM cells are lymphoplasmacytic, meaning they have features of both plasma cells and lymphocyte cells.
WM is a slow-growing lymphoma and does not always require treatment. If you don’t have symptoms, you usually do not need to be treated. If you do develop symptoms, you may need treatment depending on the severity of the symptoms.
Learn the symptoms of WM and discuss any changes with your doctor. While there is no cure for WM yet, there are different types of treatments that can lessen or resolve your symptoms and control the disease for many years.
Information credited to the International Waldenstrom’s Macroglobulinemia Foundation (IWMF)