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    Macroglobulinemia

    Macroglobulinemia

    Macroglobulinemia (Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia) is a rare type of cancer that causes overproduction of a type of the antibody (immunoglobulin) IgM. The disease causes the blood to thicken and reduces the body's ability to fight off infection.

    Symptoms may not be present in mild cases. In more severe cases, symptoms of macroglobulinemia include weakness and fatigue, recurring infections, problems with thinking and making decisions, shortness of breath, swollen glands, and nerve problems. Treatment may include chemotherapy and a process that removes the antibodies from the blood (plasmapheresis).

    Last Revised: August 6, 2012

    Author: Healthwise Staff

    Medical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Joseph O'Donnell, MD - Hematology, Oncology

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