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Pediatric Rhabdomyosarcoma

Key Points About Rhabdomyosarcoma in Children

  • Rhabdomyosarcoma is a rare type of cancer that starts in the cells that develop into skeletal muscle cells.
  • It can start almost anywhere in the body. The most common places are the head and neck; urinary and reproductive organs; arms and legs; and chest and belly.
  • Symptoms depend on the size of the tumor and where it is. A lump or swelling, pain, bleeding and trouble urinating or having bowel movements are some symptoms.
  • Tests include imaging studies and biopsy of the tumor.
  • Treatment includes surgery, chemotherapy, and sometimes radiation therapy.
  • Ongoing follow-up care during and after treatment is needed.


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Frequently Asked Questions

What is rhabdomyosarcoma in children?

What causes rhabdomyosarcoma in children?

Which children are at risk for rhabdomyosarcoma?

What are the symptoms of rhabdomyosarcoma in children?

How is rhabdomyosarcoma in children diagnosed?

How is rhabdomyosarcoma in children treated?

What are possible complications of rhabdomyosarcoma in a child?

How can I help my child live with rhabdomyosarcoma?

When should I call my child’s healthcare provider?

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Cancer Treatment at Children's National Hospital

The pediatric cancer experts at Children’s National in Washington, D.C., provide highly-specialized care for children in our innovative, comprehensive cancer programs. Discover more about the treatments we offer.

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Brayden's Story

Departments that Treat Rhabdomyosarcoma

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Our oncology (cancer) team provides personalized treatment plans for children with cancer, including access to clinical trials.