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Waldenström's Macroglobulinemia

Waldenström's Macroglobulinemia Symptoms

In some cases, Waldenström's macroglobulinemia does not cause any symptoms. However, when present, symptoms of Waldenström's macroglobulinemia can include:
  • Weakness
  • Severe fatigue
  • Bleeding from the nose or gums
  • Weight loss
  • Trouble walking
  • Bruises or other skin lesions
  • Pain (or a feeling of fullness) below the ribs on the left side
  • Painless lumps in the neck, underarm, stomach, or groin.
Severely high levels of IgM can lead to hyperviscosity syndrome, in which the blood becomes abnormally thick. Symptoms of this syndrome include:
  • Visual problems (blurring or loss of vision)
  • Neurological problems (such as headache, dizziness, and vertigo).
These possible symptoms are not sure signs of Waldenström's macroglobulinemia. Other, less serious, health problems can also cause these symptoms. People with possible symptoms of WM should see a doctor as soon as possible -- only a doctor can diagnose and treat the problem.

Diagnosing Waldenström's Macroglobulinemia

If a person has possible Waldenström's macroglobulinemia symptoms, the doctor will usually need to perform a physical exam and ask about the patient's personal and family medical history. In order to make a Waldenström's macroglobulinemia diagnosis, the doctor will also probably recommend additional tests and procedures that examine the bone.
Exams and tests that doctors use to diagnose Waldenström's macroglobulinemia may include:
  • Blood tests
  • Biopsy
  • Flow cytometry
  • Computed tomography (CT) scan
  • X-rays.
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