Oncologist-approved cancer information from the American Society of Clinical Oncology
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Waldenström's Macroglobulinemia

This section has been reviewed and approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 9/2013
Risk Factors

ON THIS PAGE: You will find out more about what factors increase the chance of this type of cancer. To see other pages in this guide, use the colored boxes on the right side of your screen, or click “Next” at the bottom.

A risk factor is anything that increases a person’s chance of developing cancer. Although risk factors often influence the development of cancer, most do not directly cause cancer. Some people with several risk factors never develop cancer, while others with no known risk factors do. However, knowing your risk factors and talking about them with your doctor may help you make more informed lifestyle and health care choices.

The following factors may raise a person’s risk of developing Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia:

Age. The risk of Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia increases with age. It occurs most commonly in people older than 60.

Gender. Men are more likely to develop Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia than women.

Race. White people are more likely to develop Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia than black people.

Monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS).  MGUS is a buildup of monoclonal antibodies produced by abnormal plasma cells. MGUS does not generally cause symptoms or many health problems, although the abnormal antibody can occasionally bind to nerves and cause weakness, tingling, and numbness. However, about 20% of people with MGUS will develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma or multiple myeloma within 20 years.

Choose “Next” (below, right) to continue reading this guide to learn about what symptoms this type of cancer can cause. Or, use the colored boxes located on the right side of your screen to visit any section.

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