Rhabdomyosarcoma - Symptom
Soft tissue sarcoma; Alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma; Embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma; Sarcoma botryoides
The most common symptom is a mass that may or may not be painful.
Other symptoms vary depending on location of the tumor.
- Tumors in the nose or throat may cause bleeding, congestion, swallowing problems, or neurological problems if they extend into the brain.
- Tumors around the eyes may cause bulging of the eye, problems with vision, swelling around the eye, or pain.
- Tumors in the ears, may cause pain, hearing loss, or swelling.
- Tumors in the vagina may be visibly protruding from the opening of the vagina.
- Bladder and vaginal tumors may cause lead to trouble starting to urinate or having a bowel movement, or poor control of urine.
- Muscle tumors may lead to a painful lump and are often thought to be an injury.
Signs and tests:
Diagnosis of rhabdomyosarcoma is often delayed because of lack of symptoms, and because the tumor may appear at the same time as a recent injury. Early diagnosis is important because rhabdomyosarcoma is an aggressive tumor that spreads quickly.
A complete physical exam should be done. Tests done to diagnose this condition may include:
- Biopsy of the tumor
- CT scan of the chest to look for spread of the tumor
- CT scan of the tumor site
- Bone marrow biopsy (may show the cancer has spread)
- Bone scan to look for spread of the tumor
- MRI scan of the tumor site
- Spinal tap (lumbar puncture)
- 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.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the
diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be
consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all
medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not
constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997-
A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is
© 2011 University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC). All rights reserved.
UMMC is a member of the University of Maryland Medical System,
22 S. Greene Street, Baltimore, MD 21201. TDD: 1-800-735-2258 or 1.866.408.6885