If you notice one or more of these childhood Rhabdomyosarcoma (CR) symptoms, seek medical attention right away. Treatment options for CR depend on the cancer's stage, which tells doctors where the cancer is located and how widespread it is. Staging systems vary from 1 to 4, and the stage of your child's cancer will determine what type of treatment is best for them.
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Often, chemotherapy and surgery are used to treat childhood rhabdomyosarcoma. The doctors use a combination of chemotherapy drugs and surgery to shrink the tumor. Sometimes, radiation therapy is used as well. If surgery is necessary, surgeons will try to minimize the damage to the child's limb. However, they may need to remove part of the limb. Luckily, many limbs can be saved.
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The most common RMS symptom is a growing mass or swelling. Children with tumors in the reproductive system or urinary tract may experience blood in the urine, difficulty breathing, or a bulging eye. Children with tumors in the base of the skull may also experience blurred vision, difficulty breathing, or facial asymmetry. Children with tumors in the orbits are usually asymptomatic, but the swelling can be very painful.
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The symptoms of childhood rhabdomyosarcoma vary greatly depending on the location and size of the tumor. Some may be similar to those of other conditions. In order to detect the disease, doctors use urine and blood tests. Tumors can also be detected using an X-ray, which uses radiation to create images of the affected area. When symptoms are present, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible.
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Children with rhabdomyosarcoma usually undergo surgery. Depending on the location and stage of the cancer, limb-sparing or organ-sparing surgery may be needed. The CHOP team of experts works closely with other specialists to create the best treatment plan for the child with rhabdomyosarcoma. Surgeons at CHOP use the latest surgical techniques to remove the cancer.
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Although the cause of childhood rhabdomyosarcoma is unknown, there are some factors that increase the risk of developing the disease. Some genetic mutations may be associated with some types of rhabdomyosarcoma. Scientists continue to study the causes of childhood rhabdomyosarcoma. In the meantime, you can learn more about the symptoms of Childhood Rhabdomyosarcoma.
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Some childhood Rhabdomyosarcoma causes difficulty in urination, blood in the urine, and constipation. Some cases require surgery to remove a limb or a part of the vagina. Other rhabdomyosarcoma symptoms can also affect sexual function. Some patients may even have sexual dysfunction, such as an inability to sex.
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If you suspect that your child has RMS, your doctor will most likely prescribe chemotherapy. This drug is injected into the bloodstream, and travels throughout the body to kill or slow the growth of the tumor. Chemotherapy is a systemic treatment, meaning that it is administered intravenously or orally. Unfortunately, this treatment does not discriminate between normal and abnormal cells, and it has negative side effects.
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Pediatricians will first examine your child's symptoms. They may prescribe imaging tests such as X-rays or CT scans. A CT scan combines X-rays from different angles. A bone scan uses radioactive materials to make images. After examining the symptoms, the pediatrician may refer your child to a pediatric cancer center for further evaluation. They will examine the cancer for any signs of spread.