Could asbestos be one of the causes of Waldenström macroglobulinemia (WM)?
We were unable to find any published studies which support a link between asbestos exposure and Waldenström macroglobulinemia (WM). In fact, we found a study which did not link WM to any specific occupational exposure and another study which looked at a number of possible environmental exposures including asbestos and reported a possible association with exposure to farming, pesticides, and wood dust, but not for solvents, hair dye, or asbestos.
To date, the cause of WM is unknown, though it is believed to be due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors. No differences in social or economic factors, prior medical conditions, medication use, alcohol consumption, employment in any particular industry or occupation, specific occupational exposures (including radiation), or familialcancer history have been found to be linked to WM.
However, several large studies have suggested an association with chronic immune stimulation and autoimmune disorders, including Hepatitis C. However more studies are needed to determine if there is a causal relationship between these factors and WM.
From the information we could find, therefore, asbestos does not appear to be a risk factor for developing WM, but since the risk and causative factors are not known yet, it would be too early to declare that there is definitely no link.
Last updated: 3/30/2016
How might I learn more about the causes of Waldenström macroglobulinemia (WM)?
Medscape Reference provides information about the possible causes and risk factors of WM. You may need to register to view the article, but registration is free.
Last updated: 3/30/2016
What other resources may help me explore my question about the possible causes and risk factors of Waldenström macroglobulinemia (WM)?
Nonprofit support and advocacy groups can offer a way to connect to others who may have similar experiences. Information gathered from affected members of different groups has sometimes changed the direction of research by bringing to light commonalities that were missed because few physicians actually saw many affected people with the condition or did not ask the right questions to make the discovery. In addition, members of the Medical Advisory Boards may be aware of unpublished information and private ongoing research or may become interested in pursuing a research interest brought to their attention by the affected members of a group. The Information Center provides the names of organizations for informational purposes only and not as an endorsement of services.
International Waldenstrom’s Macroglobulinemia Foundation (IWMF)
6144 Clark Center Ave.
Sarasota, FL 34238
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