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Rhabdomyosarcoma is the most common type of soft tissue cancer in children. Sarcomas are cancerous tumors that can develop in bone, soft tissue (such as muscle) or connective tissue (tendons or cartilage).
Although rhabdomysarcoma can begin anywhere in a child’s body, it usually develops in muscles connected to bones. There are three main types of rhabdomyosarcoma:
Rhabdomyosarcoma usually appears as a swelling or a lump in a muscle and continues to grow. Symptoms of rhabdomyosarcoma depend on where the tumor is located and may include:
Tumor growth can cause pain and can also affect the function of the body part where the tumor is located.
Treatment options and prospects for recovery depend on:
These inherited conditions can increase a person's risk of developing rhabdomyosarcoma:
Your child’s doctor can help you evaluate risk factors for rhabdomyosarcoma. The cause of rhabdomyosarcoma is not usually known.
If your child shows symptoms of rhabdomyosarcoma, a pediatric oncologist at Riley at IU Health can perform the following exams and tests to make a diagnosis:
Rhabdomyosarcoma may be treated with one or a combination of the following:
Learn more about rhabdomyosarcoma by visiting the following recommended online resources.
Riley at IU Health offers a broad range of supportive services to make life better for families who choose us for their children's care.
At Riley at IU Health, all patients with rhabdomyosarcoma are treated on research protocols conducted under the sponsorship of the Children’s Oncology Group. In addition, Riley at IU Health is part of a 21-member group called Phase 1 & Pilot Consortium. This small group of 21 children’s hospitals across the nation specifically conducts early phase-1/2 drug trials to introduce new and promising medicines for the treatment of rhabdomyosarcoma.
In addition to our primary hospital location at the Academic Health Center in Indianapolis, IN, we have convenient locations to better serve our communities throughout the state.