About

Rhabdomyosarcoma


About Rhabdomyosarcoma

Rhabdomyosarcoma is the most common soft-tissue sarcoma in children, yet it is still rare. Only about 250 children per year are diagnosed with RMS in the United States, and more than half of these cases are in kids younger than 10 years old. Because this cancer originates from embryonal cells, it is much more common in childhood, although it sometimes occurs in adults.


Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) is a tumor that develops in the body’s soft tissues; these are the tissues that support, connect, or surround your organs and other body structures. Very early in the life of an embryo, rhabdomyoblast cells start to form. These cells, which eventually grow into muscles, are the ones that can turn into RMS.

RMS is most typically located in the head, neck, arms, legs, urinary and reproductive organs, and trunk (chest and abdomen). However, the tumors can also be found in places where you have little or no skeletal muscle, such as the prostate, bile duct system, or middle ear.

In the majority of cases, the cause of rhabdomyosarcoma is unknown. However, RMS usually has some type of chromosome abnormality or mutation in the tumor cells. Possible risk factors include:

  • Age – it is most common in children younger than 10 years old
  • Gender – it is slightly more common in boys than in girls
  • Genetic conditions – having certain rare inherited conditions or having a family history of these conditions raises the risk for RMS, such as:
    • Li-Fraumeni syndrome
    • Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome
    • Neurofibromatosis type 1 (von Recklinghausen disease)
    • Costello syndrome
    • Noonan syndrome
  • Exposures before birth – some studies suggest that exposure to x-rays before birth, or parental use of drugs such as marijuana and cocaine is linked to a higher risk for
  • RMS in children

It is usual for your child not to experience any symptoms of RMS until the tumor has grown very large. Because this cancer can begin almost anywhere in the body, the symptoms of RMS vary widely between individuals. The particular symptoms are largely dependent on where the tumor is located, its size, and if it has spread.

  • Tumors located in the neck, chest, back, arm, leg, or groin (including the testicles), may first present with a lump or swelling. This lump may be red and painful.
  • Tumors around the eye can make the eye bulge or lead to the appearance of cross-eye. It may also affect vision.
  • Tumors in the ear or nasal sinuses can cause a headache, sinus congestion and pain, an earache, and nosebleeds.
  • Tumors in the bladder or prostate can cause blood in the urine, while a tumor in the vagina can cause vaginal bleeding. These tumors can grow large enough to cause problems with urination or bowel movements.
  • Tumors in the abdomen or pelvis can lead to abdominal pain, vomiting, or constipation.

It is critical to classify and stage the type of RMS in order to determine the best treatment options. There are 2 main types of childhood RMS, along with some less common types.

  1. Embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma (ERMS): this type usually occurs before age 6, but can happen in older children too. It is generally located in the head and neck area, as well as in the urinary and reproductive organs. There are two subtypes of ERMS: botryoid and spindle cell rhabdomyosarcomas, which usually have a better prognosis than the more common form of ERMS.
  2. Alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma (ARMS): this type can affects all age groups, but it comprises more cases of RMS in older children than it does in younger children. ARMS is usually faster growing than ERMS, and tends to occur in the large muscles of the arms, legs, and trunk

What is rhabdomyosarcoma?

Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) is a tumor that develops in the body’s soft tissues; these are the tissues that support, connect, or surround your organs and other body structures. Very early in the life of an embryo, rhabdomyoblast cells start to form. These cells, which eventually grow into muscles, are the ones that can turn into RMS.

RMS is most typically located in the head, neck, arms, legs, urinary and reproductive organs, and trunk (chest and abdomen). However, the tumors can also be found in places where you have little or no skeletal muscle, such as the prostate, bile duct system, or middle ear.

 

What are the risk factors for rhabdomyosarcoma?

In the majority of cases, the cause of rhabdomyosarcoma is unknown. However, RMS usually has some type of chromosome abnormality or mutation in the tumor cells. Possible risk factors include:

  • Age – it is most common in children younger than 10 years old
  • Gender – it is slightly more common in boys than in girls
  • Genetic conditions – having certain rare inherited conditions or having a family history of these conditions raises the risk for RMS, such as:
    • Li-Fraumeni syndrome
    • Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome
    • Neurofibromatosis type 1 (von Recklinghausen disease)
    • Costello syndrome
    • Noonan syndrome
  • Exposures before birth – some studies suggest that exposure to x-rays before birth, or parental use of drugs such as marijuana and cocaine is linked to a higher risk for RMS in children

 

Whatare the symptoms of rhabdomyosarcoma?

It is usual for your child not to experience any symptoms of RMS until the tumor has grown very large. Because this cancer can begin almost anywhere in the body, the symptoms of RMS vary widely between individuals. The particular symptoms are largely dependent on where the tumor is located, its size, and if it has spread.

  • Tumors located in the neck, chest, back, arm, leg, or groin (including the testicles), may first present with a lump or swelling. This lump may be red and painful.
  • Tumors around the eye can make the eye bulge or lead to the appearance of cross-eye. It may also affect vision.
  • Tumors in the ear or nasal sinuses can cause a headache, sinus congestion and pain, an earache, and nosebleeds.
  • Tumors in the bladder or prostate can cause blood in the urine, while a tumor in the vagina can cause vaginal bleeding. These tumors can grow large enough to cause problems with urination or bowel movements.
  • Tumors in the abdomen or pelvis can lead to abdominal pain, vomiting, or constipation

 

How many types of rhabdomyosarcoma are there?

It is critical to classify and stage the type of RMS in order to determine the best treatment options. There are 2 main types of childhood RMS, along with some less common types.

  1. Embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma (ERMS): this type usually occurs before age 6, but can happen in older children too. It is generally located in the head and neck area, as well as in the urinary and reproductive organs. There are two subtypes of ERMS: botryoid and spindle cell rhabdomyosarcomas, which usually have a better prognosis than the more common form of ERMS.
  2. Alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma (ARMS): this type can affects all age groups, but it comprises more cases of RMS in older children than it does in younger children. ARMS is usually faster growing than ERMS, and tends to occur in the large muscles of the arms, legs, and trunk.

 

top 10 banner 1

Get Consultation Now

Get Consultation Now

By submitting this form you agree to have your information used for consultation purposes only in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

CONTACT US

Get Consultation


By submitting this form you agree to have your information used for consultation purposes only in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

Request a consultation