Q. Can you recommend good resources and information about rhabdomyosarcoma? My niece was just diagnosed.

A.

Rhabdomyosarcoma is a relatively rare form of cancer, but it is the most common type of soft tissue sarcoma in children. It is most common in children ages one to five, and is also found in teens aged 15 to 19, although this is more rare. This cancer can also occur in adulthood but that incidence is rarer still. Rhabdomyosarcoma can begin in many places in the body. However, it is most present in areas such as the head, neck and genitourinary tract. Its two most common forms are embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma and alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma.

Treatment recommendations are based on the stage of the cancer and whether all the cancer was removed by surgery. Treatments include surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. It is also recommended that those with rhabdomyosarcoma have their treatment planned by a team of health care providers who are experts in their field.

When seeking sources of information online, it is important to visit websites that are reliable and up-to-date. The National Cancer Institute is a terrific resource, as is the Sarcoma Alliance. Cancer.net is a patient-friendly website from the American Society of Clinical Oncology.