Hi there, I had a LOT of blood tests done in January, one came back that I am a bit concerned about, not sure if I should be. One of the tests was electrophoresis and the result came back showing monoclonal banding. The comment on my results is as follows;
'electrophoresis suggests the presence of faint banding in the gamma region' I asked what this means and was told I had a little bit of excess antibody production by some cells in my bone marrow and am to have repeat tests of electrophorsis and free light chains in 3 months. Should I be concerned about this? Everything I have read on it suggests cancer. Is it possible these results could have been caused by something else? I have hashimoto's and fibromyalgia. I am also scheduled to have arthroscopic hip surgery in the next 3 months.
Any advice to alleviate my fears greatly appreciated :)
I think what you must be worried about is the possibility of Multiple Myeloma? Myeloma is a cancer of the plasma cell, and one of the main tests used to monitor this is the Serum Protien Electropherisis, and now the free lights test is used to detect fainter changes, my doctor uses it instead of the 24urine analysis.
Well I can tell you that I have Multiple Myeloma. I get these tests every month to monitor my health. The SPEP test looks for what is called the "m-spike" which is indicative of MM. MM causes a single IG cell (type of white blood cell) to produce itself over and over and the test picks up this as a spike.
Since your tests "suggests faint bands in the gamma region" this means the lab tech reading the tests is not sure. The test does really on a person to read the results, unlike some blood tests which are done by computer. According to my doctor small variances are normal. In my case the first test I had said "major spike detected in the IGG region, and went on to say monoclonal gammopathy should be evaluated" which means cancer process.
There is a benign condition called MGUS that causes a small spike but in most cases there are no symptoms, and it does not progress to anything but is followed regularly because about 1% later prove to be malignant.
this link explains better, you need to add the w w w. in front
Hi thank you for replying, yes myeloma is what I am worried about. The link you have provided is extremely informative and helpful, thank you for that.
You said your doctor said small variances are normal, is he referring to the general population? Meaning my results could just be a glitch for some reason? Sorry to keep asking, I am terribly impatient when given this sort of test result and having to wait 4 months to get it checked again just makes me worry about it. What are the symptoms, if any? My actual test readings do not mean much to me, only one seems a little over it's range. Do you have any thoughts on these?;
Total protein 71g/L (ref 65-85)
albumin 44g/L (ref 38-50)
Alpha-1 Globulins 3.4 (ref 2.1 -3.5)
Alpha-2 Globulins 8.2 (ref 5.1 - 8.5)
Beta-1 Globulins 5.8 (ref 3.4 - 5.2)
Beta-2 Globulins 2.4 (ref 2.3 - 4.7)
IgG 10.4 (ref 5.2 -16)
IgA 1.08 (ref 0.85 - 3.50)
IgM 0.55 (ref 0.32 - 3.00)
Monoclonal Banding - Comment - faint banding in the gamma region significance unknown suggest repeat tests in 6-12 months.
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