Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia (WM) grows out of plasma cells, the type of blood cells that produce infection-fighting antibodies. Abnormal production of antibodies is characteristic of this lymphoma, and manifests itself in thickening of the blood as well as infiltration of the bone marrow with plasma cells. A rare cancer, WM is a non-Hodgkin lymphoma that accounts for one to two percent of all hematological cancers.
WM is a slow-growing type of tumour usually detected in routine blood tests. Symptoms develop only when lymphoma cells crowd out the bone marrow, preventing it from making normal blood cells. Symptoms of WM include fatigue, anemia, easy bruising or bleeding, repeated infections, night sweats, and weight loss.