Complications, diagnosis of rhabdomyosarcoma (part 3)

Published : 07 Oct 2021 07:38 PM | Updated : 08 Oct 2021 08:42 PM

Cancer that spreads (metastasizes): Rhabdomyosarcoma can spread from where it started to other areas, making treatment and recovery more difficult. Rhabdomyosarcoma most often spreads to the lungs, lymph nodes and bones.

Long-term treatment side effects: The aggressive treatments needed to control rhabdomyosarcoma can cause substantial side effects, in both the short and the long terms. Your health care team can help you manage the side effects that happen during treatment and provide you with a list of side effects to watch for in the years after treatment.


Rhabdomyosarcoma diagnosis usually begins with a physical exam to better understand the symptoms you or your child may be experiencing. Based on those findings other tests and procedures may be recommended.

• X-ray

• Computerized tomography (CT)

• Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

• Positron emission tomography (PET)

• Bone scan

Needle biopsy: The doctor inserts a thin needle through the skin and guides it into the tumor. The needle is used to remove small pieces of tissue from the tumor. 

Surgical biopsy: The doctor makes an incision through the skin and removes either the entire tumor (excisional biopsy) or a portion of the tumor (incisional biopsy).

  Courtesy: Mayo Clinic

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Rhabdomyosarcoma, its symptoms (part 1)

Causes, risk factors of rhabdomyosarcoma (part 2)

Treatment for rhabdomyosarcoma (part 4)