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Definition of «Rhabdomyosarcoma»


Rhabdomyosarcoma: A malignant tumor that starts in muscle.

Rhabdomyosarcoma is primarily a childhood tumor and occurs most often in children under 5 years of age. Over 60% of cases show up before age 10. On rare occasions, rhabdomyosarcoma affects adults.

Rhabdomyosarcoma can begin anywhere there is muscle including (in order of frequency) the head and neck, arms and legs, genitourinary tract, and the trunk.

Treatment for rhabdomyosarcoma may involve surgery, radiotherapy or chemotherapy. Usually two or three of these modalities of treatment are employed. For example, a surgeon may first try to remove as much tumor as possible. Then the patient may undergo several weeks of chemotherapy, possibly followed by radiation therapy, and then more chemotherapy.

The prognosis (outcome) with rhabdomyosarcoma depends on the location of the cancer, how far it has spread, the type of rhabdomyosarcoma, how much can be surgically removed, and the type of treatment received.

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