What is Rhabdomyosarcoma?

Rhabdomyosarcoma is a type of sarcoma that starts in the muscles and connective tissues of the body. Rhabdomyosarcoma is usually diagnosed in children and teenagers, but can form in adults as well.

Because osteosarcoma is so rare, it’s important to receive treatment at cancer centers, such as the Abramson Cancer Center that has experts in sarcoma and orthopaedic oncology.

While our sarcoma program treats adults, we have a relationship with the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. For information about treatment of sarcoma in children, visit the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

Rhabdomyosarcoma Symptoms

Pain is the most common symptom of rhabdomyosarcoma. Sarcomas may appear as painless lump under the skin, or not cause any pain until they are very large and press on nearby organs and tissues.

Other symptoms of rhabdomyosarcoma include:

  • Bulging of the eye
  • A headache
  • Trouble urinating or having bowel movements
  • Blood in the urine
  • Bleeding in the nose, throat, vagina or rectum

Just because you have one or more of these symptoms doesn't mean you have rhabdomyosarcoma. Speak with your Penn Medicine physician if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.