WM is a slowly developing B cell lymphoma- some b cells in the blood, produced mainly in the bone marrow fail to develop properly and gradually crowd out the population of normal B cells, both in the bone marrow and in the circulation. Like their normal cousins, these cells produce immunoglogulins, particularly IgM and their proliferation causes excess Igm to be detected in routine blood tests.
The detection of WM is usually from side effects of excess IGM, and include tiredness, shortage of breath, damage to nerves (neuropathy), excess bleeding and repeated infections due to low resistance.
The Lymphoma Association leaflet edited by Dr Shirley D'Sa of University College Hospital London is currently the best UK guide to the disease.
Lymphoma Association leaflet