Preparing for your appointmentBy Mayo Clinic staff
Most often, monoclonal gammopathy is detected and monitored with blood tests. These tests require no preparation on your part. If you're found to have monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance, you may be referred to a doctor who specializes in blood disorders (hematologist).
It's a good idea to arrive well prepared for your appointment. Here's some information to help you get ready, and what you might expect from your doctor.
What you can do
- Write down any symptoms you're experiencing, including any that may seem unrelated to the reason for which you scheduled the appointment.
- Write down key personal information, including any major stresses or recent life changes.
- Make a list of all medications, vitamins or supplements that you're taking. Or bring the original bottles your medications came in with you.
- Ask a family member or friend to come with you. Sometimes it can be difficult to remember all of the information provided to you during an appointment. Someone who accompanies you may remember something that you missed or forgot.
- Write down questions to ask your doctor.
Your time with your doctor is limited, so preparing a list of questions can help you make the most of your time together. List your questions from most important to least important in case time runs out. For monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance, some basic questions include:
- What kinds of tests do I need? Do these tests require any special preparation?
- How frequently do I need to be tested?
- Can I have a copy of my blood test results?
- Is this condition temporary or long lasting?
- What treatments are available?
- I have other health conditions. How can I best manage these conditions together?
- Are there any lifestyle changes I can make, such as changing my diet, that might help?
- How frequently do I need to schedule follow-up visits?
- Are there any brochures or other printed material that I can take with me? What websites do you recommend?
In addition to the questions that you've prepared to ask your doctor, don't hesitate to ask additional questions during your appointment.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions. Being ready to answer them may reserve time to go over points you want to spend more time on. Your doctor may ask:
- Are you experiencing any symptoms?
- Do you have a family history of monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance?
- Have you ever had cancer?
- Do you have any numbness or tingling in your hands and feet?
- Have you ever had a blood clot?
- Have you ever experienced a broken bone?
- Do you have osteoporosis?
- Rajkumar SV. Diagnosis of monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 3, 2013.
- Rajkumar SV. Clinical course and management of monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 3, 2013.
- Blade J. Monoclonal gammopathies of undetermined significance. New England Journal of Medicine. 2006;355:2765.
- Rajkumar SV, et al. Advances in the diagnosis, classification, risk stratification, and management of monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance: Implications for recategorizing disease entities in the presence of evolving scientific evidence. Mayo Clinic Proceedings. 2010;85:945.
- Therneau TM. Incidence of monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance and estimation of duration before first clinical recognition. Mayo Clinic Proceedings. 2012;87:1071.