Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS)


Physical examinations are used to diagnose rhabdomyosarcoma in order to investigate any symptoms that the patient has. More tests and procedures will be recommended based on the result of the physical examination.

  • Imaging tests: In order to examine your symptoms, rule out cancer, and check for signs of the disease spreading, your doctor can advise one or more imaging tests, which includes:
    • X-ray: While X-rays are sometimes used to look for malignancies, they are most effective when utilized to examine bones.
    • Computerized tomography (CT): To provide comprehensive cross-sectional images of body parts, a CT scan combines a number of x-ray images. To observe details better during the scan, a
      contrast agent may be injected into a vein beforehand. CT scan can provide a clear image of the size of the tumor and its surrounding tissues. It can also be used to examine surrounding lymph nodes, the lungs, or other parts of the body where the cancer may have spread.
    • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): Instead of using x-rays, MRI scans use radio waves and powerful magnets to produce detailed images. In order to observe details more clearly during the scan, gadolinium (contrast agent) may be injected into a vein beforehand. MRI can be utilized if the tumor is located at a specific part of the body, such as the head and neck, arm or leg, or at the pelvis. MRI could also show the exact size of the tumor
    • Positron emission tomography (PET): A radioactive material is injected into the blood for a PET scan. The locations of radioactivity in the entire body can then be captured on film using a specialized camera.
    • Bone scan: A bone scan can determine whether a malignancy has metastasized to the bones as it gives a comprehensive image of the complete skeleton.
  • Biopsy: A sample of suspected cells is taken during a biopsy process and tested in a lab. Tests can identify the type of cancer and reveal whether the cells are malignant. The following types of biopsy techniques are used to identify rhabdomyosarcoma:
    • Needle biopsy: A tiny needle is inserted into the tumor by the doctor through the patient’s skin. A tissue sample is taken out from the tumor with the needle.
    • Surgical biopsy: Through a skin incision, the
      physician removes the tumor as a whole (excisional biopsy) or a portion of it (incisional biopsy).
    • Bone marrow aspiration and biopsy: During a bone marrow biopsy, a sample of bone, blood, and bone marrow are typically taken from one or both hip bones. These tests are frequently performed following the diagnosis of RMS to determine whether the malignancy has progressed to the bone marrow.
    • Lumbar puncture: This procedure, also known as a spinal tap, involves drawing fluid from the spine with a needle. Although not frequently performed for RMS, this test may be carried out if a tumor is present close to the covering of the brain (the meninges). The cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), the fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord, is tested for the presence of cancer cells.


Chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation therapy are frequently used in the treatment of rhabdomyosarcoma. The course of treatment will depend on the cancer’s location, the size of the tumor, and if it has spread to other parts of the body.

  • Surgery: The purpose of surgery is to eliminate all cancer cells. However, if the rhabdomyosarcoma has spread close to or around vital organs or other significant structures, it may not always be possible to do that. When surgery cannot entirely remove the cancer, the doctors may remove as much of it as they are able before using alternative therapies to remove any remaining cancer cells, such as chemotherapy and radiation.
  • Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy kills cancer cells by using medications. Drugs are typically given in
    combination as part of the treatment, typically through a vein. The medications administered and their frequency depends on the circumstances. After surgery or radiation therapy, chemotherapy is frequently used to eliminate any cancer cells that could have remained. Additionally, it can be used to reduce a tumor before additional therapies to improve the effectiveness of surgery or radiation therapy. Please revise this.
  • Radiation therapy: High-energy beams, including X-rays and protons, are used in radiation therapy to kill cancer cells. The radiation is frequently directed to specific locations on the body using a machine. After surgery, radiation therapy could be advised to eliminate any cancer cells that survived. Additionally, it can be utilized in place of surgery when the rhabdomyosarcoma is located in an area where it is impossible to do surgery because to the proximity of vital organs or other structures.