Rhabdomyosarcoma is a type of sarcoma made up of cells that normally develop into skeletal (voluntary) muscles. These are muscles that we control to move parts of our body.

Sarcoma’s are cancers that develop from connective tissues in the body like fat, muscles, bones, blood vessels or linings of our joints.

The most common places where Rhabdomyosarcoma is found –

  • Arms and legs
  • Trunk (chest and abdomen)
  • The head and neck (such as near the eye, inside the nasal sinuses or throat, or near the spine in the neck)
  • Urinary and reproductive organs (bladder, prostate gland, or any of the female organs)


Most Common Symptoms

Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) can start nearly anywhere in the body.

The symptoms of RMS can be different in each person. The symptoms depend on where the tumour is, how large it is and if it has spread to other parts of the body.

  • Tumours around the eye can cause the eye to bulge out or the child to appear to be cross-eyed. Vision might be affected as well.
  • Tumours in the bladder or prostate can lead to blood in the urine, while a tumour in the vagina can cause vaginal bleeding. These tumours might grow big enough to make it hard or painful to urinate or have bowel movements.
  • Tumours in the abdomen or pelvis can cause vomiting, belly pain, or constipation.
  • Tumours in the ear or nasal sinuses can cause an earache, headache, nosebleeds, or sinus congestion.
  • When the tumour is in the neck, chest, back, arm, leg, or groin (including the testicles), the first sign might be a lump or swelling. Sometimes it can cause pain, redness, or other problems.


For further guidance about Rhabdomyosarcoma, speak to your General Practitioner.