Rhabdomyosarcoma - Overview
Soft tissue sarcoma; Alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma; Embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma; Sarcoma botryoides
Definition of Rhabdomyosarcoma:
Rhabdomyosarcoma is a cancerous (malignant) tumor of the muscles that are attached to the bones.
It can occur in many places in the body. The most common sites are the structures of the head and neck, the urogenital tract, and the arms or legs.
Rhabdomyosarcoma is the most common soft tissue tumor in children.
Causes, incidence, and risk factors:
The cause of rhabdomyosarcoma is unknown. It is a rare tumor with only several hundred new cases per year throughout the United States.
Some children with certain birth defects are at an increased risk, and some families have a gene mutation that elevates risk. However, the great majority of children with rhabdomyosarcoma do not have any known risk factors.
- Reviewed last on: 3/2/2010
- David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine and Yi-Bin Chen, MD, Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Program, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
Arndt CAS. Soft Tissue Sarcomas. In: Kliegman RM, Behrman RE, Jenson HB, Stanton BF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 18th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 500.
National Comprehensive Cancer Network Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology: Soft Tissue Sarcoma. National Comprehensive Cancer Network; 2009. Version 2.2009.
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