Rhabdomyosarcoma develops in the skeletal or voluntary muscles of the body – the muscles we can control ourselves.
There an average of 112 cases of rhabdomyosarcoma diagnosed every year in England.
It makes up 2.84% of all soft tissue sarcomas, and about 0.04% of all cancers.
There are slightly more males diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma.
There are four main types of rhabdomyosarcoma:
- Alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma (occurs mainly in older children and teenagers)
- Embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma (occurs mainly in young children)
- Pleomorphic rhabdomyosarcoma (occurs mainly in adults)
- Spindle cell / sclerosing rhabdomyosarcoma (a rare variant of embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma that can affect adults and children)
We have information on each main type of rhabdomyosarcoma below.