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Cancer Genetics

Waldenstrom Cancer Options

04/10/2000

Question:

My brother (54) was diagnosed with Waldenstrom cancer. This was 3-4 months ago. He`s had several blood transfusions ( his count was 5 when he was first admitted into hospital. ) The doctors have told him this is a treatable cancer. He`s on his third round of chemo (pills). After he was out of the hospital the first time, his blood count was at 12. Then it went down to 10.2 and now after 2nd chemo treatment, down to 9. He`s very tired all the time. The doctors tell him its normal for blood count to go down with chemo. But will it ever go back up? If so, how soon after 3rd chemo treatment? Will he need more transfusions? Is there anything out there for Waldenstrom that`s new on market to help?

Answer:

Waldenstrom`s macroglobulinemia is a cancer of cells that produce Immunoglobulin type M (IgM). It is related to chronic lymphocytic leukemia, myeloma, and lymphocytic lymphoma. It is more correctly classified as a low-grade lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma. It occurs more frequently in men with an average age of onset of 63 years. The most common symptom at the time of diagnosis is anemia with an average hemoglobin value of 10 gm/dl.

I am not an oncologist and cannot answer your questions about your brother`s response to his chemotherapy. NetWellness does not currently have a general oncology expert.

There are over 35 clinical trials available right now to study different treatments for Waldenstrom`s macroglobulinemia. Check out the government web site below. Simply enter "Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia" in the blank.

Related Resources:

ClinicalTrials.gov: Linking Patients to Medical Research

For more information:

Go to the Cancer Genetics health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Judith A Westman, MD Judith A Westman, MD
Associate Professor, Clinical Internal Medicine, Pediatrics and Medical Biochemistry
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University