Metastatic Rhabdomyosarcoma

Metastatic Rhabdomyosarcoma

Rhabdomyosarcoma is a form of cancer that affects bones and soft tissues such as muscle. It is the most common soft-tissue sarcoma and occurs most often in children and adolescents. When rhabdomyosarcoma first appears, it is referred to as localized, meaning it is localized to the area where it first began. The cancer cells can then travel to other parts of the body, or spread, which is referred to as metastatic rhabdomyosarcoma.

Metastatic rhabdomyosarcoma is advanced and considered the most aggressive form of rhabdomyosarcoma. It is most likely to spread to the lungs, lymph nodes, bones, and other areas of the body. The majority of metastatic rhabdomyosarcoma cases occur in people over 20, although it can occur in children.

Symptoms of metastatic rhabdomyosarcoma may include:

  • Lump in the abdominal area or other areas of the body
  • Headaches
  • Coughing
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Pain in the bone and joint
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite

Diagnosis is made through a combination of physical exams, imaging studies, and biopsies. Imaging studies such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT) scans, and bone scans may be used to identify metastatic sites, confirm diagnosis, and monitor tumor response to treatment.

Treatment for metastatic rhabdomyosarcoma will depend on the individual's age, overall health, and severity of the disease. Standard treatments for this type of cancer include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery, and targeted therapy. In more severe cases, a combination of these treatments may be used.