MGUS or monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance is a state which presents with an abnormal protein called as a paraprotein, M protein or monoclonal protein, is present in blood. This protein is made in plasma, which is a kind of white blood cell in the bone marrow.

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Is MGUS Or Monoclonal Gammopathy Of Undetermined Significance A Cancer?

Monoclonal gammopathy is not a cancerous state. However, there is a very small chance that monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance may develop into blood cancer, like myeloma- which is a cancer of plasma cells or lymphoma-which is a cancer of lymphatic system. Due to this risk, your doctor may advise you to take several blood tests regularly, so that any changes in the MGUS may be detected as early as possible.

Monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance may lead to several complications in a small number of people. Usually MGUS does not present with any signs and symptoms and rarely requires any treatment. However, in very few people, it can cause certain complications, which rather depends upon the kind of MGUS that one suffers from -

Non-IgM MGUS-

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This is the commonest type of MGUS and carries a great risk of developing into multiple myeloma. People with this kind of monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance can rarely progress to other conditions like light chain deposition disease

IgM MGUS-

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This is the next common type of MGUS. This kind of monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance can also progress to a very rare type of cancer known as Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia. Rarely, it can progress to lymphoma or multiple myeloma.

LC-MGUS or light chain MGUS-

This type has found its way newly into the classification. This kind of MGUS can lead to a state which presents with a certain kind of M protein being found in the urine.

This state is known as Bence Jones proteinuria. This type of monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance can also lead to light chain multiple myeloma or light chain deposition disease.

Some other complications like bone fractures, kidney problems and blood clots can be seen in some people with monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance.

To gauge the chance of progression, many factors are considered like-

  • The size and the kind of M protein seen in the blood
  • The quantity of another type of small protein called as free light chain found in the blood
  • The age of the person at the time of diagnosis. The chance of progression into another serious condition becomes more if you are long since suffering from MGUS.

Symptoms Of Monoclonal Gammopathy Of Undetermined Significance

  • Those suffering from monoclonal gammopathy do not usually experience any signs and symptoms
  • Some people may at times experience a rash or some problems related to nerves
  • Some may experience tingling or numbness
  • Some may face issues with their balance
  • This is usually caused because their nerves get damaged due to paraproteins in the blood
  • Those who suffer from nerve problems may find it beneficial to visit a neurologist, as this is a specialist who deals in nerve problems

Since there are no signs and symptoms as such, monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance is most of the times detected by chance when blood tests are done for other purposes

Diagnosis Of Monoclonal Gammopathy Of Undetermined Significance

The doctors may suspect a person to be suffering from MGUS if he finds a presence of paraproteins in his blood. However, presence of paraproteins in blood may also indicate a more serious condition like myeloma or lymphoma. Hence, the doctor will advise you to take a few tests in order to rule out these serious conditions and establish a diagnosis of monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance.

The tests used for the diagnosis of MGUS may include-

MGUS does not go away. But fortunately, most of the times those suffering from monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance do not require any treatment as the condition does not produce any signs and symptoms. Very rarely though, it can progress into other serious forms of diseases and hence, doctors usually recommend getting yourself evaluated regularly.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: February 18, 2019

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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