Lymphoplasmacytic Lymphoma also known as Waldenström macroglobulinemia is a type of lymphoma. In this disease the plasma cells become abnormal and rapidly grow and build up in the bone marrow, spleen and other organs. These cells increases the amount of protein in the body which makes the blood thicker. Tiredness, blurred vision, infections and bruising or bleeding has been observed in patients with this cancer.
HOW IS LYMPHOPLASMACYTIC LYMPHOMA DIAGNOSED?
The general physician will check for regular blood tests and chest x-ray to diagnose the condition. Biopsies, bone marrow aspiration, bone scan, ultrasound and other tests are recommended to identify the severity of the condition and the stage of the cancer.
HOW IS LYMPHOPLASMACYTIC LYMPHOMA TREATED?
There is currently no known cure for Lymphoplasmacytic Lymphoma. Several treatment options exist to prevent or control symptoms of the disease, and to destroy the tumour cells that make the abnormal IgM protein. It often develops slowly, so treatment may not be needed straight away. People without symptoms are generally managed by the 'watch and wait' (also called Active Monitoring) approach. Once symptoms develop or the disease progresses, chemotherapy is used to treat the disease. This may include FCR (fludarabine, cyclophosphamide and rituximab). Treatment that stimulates the immune system to fight cancer, biological therapy, is also being used as a treatment option. People presenting with high levels of IgM and hyperviscosity syndrome are likely to undergo plasmapheresis. Other treatments may include surgical removal of the spleen (splenectomy), red blood cell transfusions, radiation therapy, clinical trials, and stem cell transplantation.
DID YOU KNOW?
This disorder does not require immediate treatment and can be monitored through regular blood test.