Cancer has become one of the leading causes of death all over the globe. Around 10 million deaths in 2020 occurred because of cancer. You may hear of various cancers, such as breast, lung, skin, colon, etc. But have you heard of cancer named Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia (WM)? What causes Waldenstrom disease? In this blog, we will discuss the entire thing in detail.
WM is non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) disease that occurs in 3 per million people in the U.S. About 1-2% of all B cell lymphomas, 1000 to 1500 people, are diagnosed yearly with WM. It mainly occurs because of the change in the gene’s DNA sequence that further causes change in blood cells.
There are some treatments that help ease or remove the symptoms of this cancer. You may take help from cancer treatment centers for the same.
What Is Waldenstrom Macroglobulinemia?
Also called Lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma, it is rare cancer that slowly affects the white blood cell of your body. When you suffer from this rare type of cancer, your bone marrow produces many abnormal white blood cells. These abnormal cells remove the healthy blood cells from their place. It also produces a lot of proteins that get collected in the blood, hair the complete blood flow circulation and causes many problems.
Various Symptoms Of WM Cancer
WM reacts differently in different people; some have visible symptoms, whereas others do not have any symptoms. The signs of WM cancer usually come very gradually. Below are some of them.
- Loss of Appetite
- Weight Loss
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Enlarged liver
- Nose bleeding
- Loss of vision
- Shortness of breath
- Tingle sensation in the toes and fingers
If you have any of the above Waldenstrom Macroglobulinemia symptoms, you may go to the treatment center and consult a doctor. They help diagnose your problem and give the proper treatment. It is vital to remember that early detection of cancer help treats it properly. So, if you have any unusual feelings or symptoms that you have not experienced before, you must visit a doctor and discuss the same.
What Are The Causes Of Waldenstrom Macroglobulinemia?
The actual cause of WM is unclear, but it is a possible result of various genetic changes. The mutation mainly occurs in the DNA segments of the MYC88 and the CXCR4 gene. 90% of people get affected by the first gene mutation, whereas 30% of the people get affected by the mutation of the second one.
The proteins generated from these genes are responsible for signaling within the cells. The proteins formed from the MYD88 gene send signals to prevent self-destruction and aid cell survival. The proteins produced by the CXCR4 gene promote the cell’s growth and division, supporting cell survival.
The change in these genes results in the production of proteins that constantly become overactive. These proteins later perform excessive signaling that allows the survival and division of abnormal cells that must undergo apoptosis, which means the death of cells. It results in the accumulation of abnormal cells in the WM that grow out of control.
Diagnostic Methods Of Waldenstrom Macroglobulinemia
Whenever you visit a treatment center, a doctor performs a variety of tests and procedures to diagnose WM cancer. These are the simple test a doctor perform to find out whether you have WM cancer or not. Make sure that you visit an accredited cancer treatment center that can perform a diagnosis using proper equipment and methods. Some of the diagnostic processes include the following-
Urine and blood test
While performing a diagnostic process, a doctor may ask for blood and urine samples. It helps to know the low blood cell count and the immunoglobulin M (IgM) level. It also helps to know the functioning of the organ such as the kidneys and liver.
This test allows the doctor to know whether the cancer cells have spread to other parts of the body. It includes various tests such as X-rays, CT (computerized tomography) scans, or PET (positron, emission tomography) scans. These tests allow taking pictures of the inside body.
Bone Marrow Sample Testing
In this test, the doctor takes out some of the bone marrow from the hipbone using a needle. The sample is then examined to find the cancer cells. If the cancer is detected, it then undergoes advanced laboratory analysis to know its characteristics.
Treatments To Ease The Sign Of WM Cancer
After you get diagnosed with cancer, the doctor provides some helpful Waldenstrom Macroglobulinemia treatment. A reliable treatment center always provides the best treatment for WM cancer as per the patient’s symptoms and diagnostic reports.
In diagnosis, if it is found that the blood has too many IgM proteins, the doctor may suggest plasma exchange. It is a process to remove the excess IgM protein from the blood and restore them with healthy blood plasma.
It is a drug treatment given to a cancer patient in order to kill the abnormal blood cells produced by WM. This treatment may be provided to a patient in combination with other treatments or may be given alone. Chemotherapy may help lower the signs and symptoms of WM cancer.
This therapy target the specific abnormalities that help cancer cells grow and kill them. The drugs used during this therapy may be combined with other drugs. It may also be recommended with biological therapy or chemotherapy.
Bone Marrow Transplantation
It is also known as stem cell transplantation. In this treatment method, high-dose chemotherapy is provided to patients to remove the affected bone marrow. After that, the healthy blood cells are used to infuse into the body in order to restore the normal bone marrow.
This therapy uses drugs to destroy cancer cells using your body’s immune system. Like chemotherapy and targeted therapy, this therapy drug is also provided alone or with other drugs.
Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia is a rare cancer disease, but people who suffer from this cancer have to undergo many problems. You can identify this cancer with various signs like weight loss, change in eyesight, headache, fever, etc. You must visit a treatment center and talk about your problem. Early detection helps ease the problem and prevent the disease from getting worse. If you have some of these signs but are aware of the exact problem, you do not have to worry much. The first thing you must do is consult a doctor immediately.
University Cancer Centers is a well-known treatment center for patients who are suffering from cancer. We provide accurate and immediate treatment to our patients and perform a quick diagnostic process. Our properly planned and customized treatment plan, expert doctors, and supportive staff always provide the best care to help you win the battle against cancer.
Our range of treatments helps provide the best method for your WM cancer. We first understand your medical history and provide treatment accordingly. Our various treatments include chemotherapy, surgeries, radiotherapy, and many more. We support our patients throughout the entire treatment process of cancer and help them recover fast. To know more, book an online appointment or call us at (713)-474-1414.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is it possible to cure Waldenstrom's disease?
No, it is not possible to cure this disease completely, but you can lower its symptoms. Various medicines and treatments are available that help control WM cancer for longer. Not everyone who suffers from WM needs treatment immediately, as the signs of this cancer are visible at different times in different people.
How long does a person with WM cancer live?
A 5-year survival rate for WM cancer people is 78%. But it is vital to understand that the survival rate depends on many other factors. It may include the patient’s age, diagnostic time, correct treatment methods, condition of the patient, etc.
What makes the condition of WM cancer patients worse?
There are various reasons why WM patients’ condition worsens and may also lead to death. It may include cardiac failure, infection, renal failure, GI bleeding, strokes, and many more. That is why detecting the signs of cancer at early stages helps treat cancer properly and allows the patient to live longer.
Does Waldenstrom's disease affect your brain?
Yes, it may affect your brain. Waldenstrom’s disease is rare cancer that may present with various neurological complications. It may involve a problem with the patient’s central and peripheral nervous systems.