Rhabdomyosarcoma

What is rhabdomyosarcoma?
Rhabdomyosarcoma is a form of cancer originating in the muscles. It is the most common type of soft tissue sarcoma in children.

What causes rhabdomyosarcoma?
The exact cause of rhabdomyosarcoma is not known, however certain inherited diseases and conditions that may increase the risk of developing it. If your child has an inherited condition, such as Li-Fraumeni or neurofibromatosis, talk to your child’s doctor to determine whether your child may be at risk.

What are the symptoms of rhabdomyosarcoma?
• Swelling or lump that does not go away or keeps getting bigger
• Trouble urinating or blood in the urine
• Headaches
• Bleeding from the nose, throat, vagina or rectum

How is rhabdomyosarcoma diagnosed?
At KHCC rhabdomyosarcoma is diagnosed by performing a series of tests. These tests include some blood tests and imaging tests such as x-rays, CT scans and MRIs to take detailed pictures of areas inside the body to determine the location and size of the tumor and whether it has spread to other areas of the body. A biopsy is also taken as well. A biopsy removes a sample of bone and tissue to further examine in a lab for abnormalities.

How is rhabdomyosarcoma treated at KHCC?
The treating physician will present the case to the MDC panel who will determine the right treatment for the child depending on how much the cancer has spread throughout the body.

Chemotherapy followed by radiotherapy is the standard treatment for this type of disease.  Surgery may be an option depending on the location of the tumor.

Physicians
Pediatric patients receive top quality care from a multidisciplinary team of pediatric oncology specialists that is entirely devoted to diagnosing and treating rhabdomyosarcoma and other childhood tumors.

Supportive Care
Pediatric services work in close cooperation with other departments at KHCC so that pediatric cancer patients receive the most comprehensive care possible. Supportive care services at KHCC include: