If rhabdomyosarcoma spreads

Cancer cells can spread from where they started to other parts of the body. This is called metastasis.

Understanding how a type of cancer usually grows and spreads helps your child’s healthcare team plan treatment and future care. If rhabdomyosarcoma spreads, it can spread to the following:

  • the lungs
  • the liver
  • the bones
  • the bone marrow
  • distant muscles
  • distant lymph nodes

Tumours that start in the ear, the nose or a sinus often spread to the brain or spinal cord (called the central nervous system, or CNS).

Expert review and references

  • American Cancer Society. Rhabdomyosarcoma. 2014: http://www.cancer.org/cancer/rhabdomyosarcoma/.
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma. Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center - Cancer Conditions and Diagnoses. Cincinnati, OH: Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center; 2008.
  • Hendershot, E . Rhabdomyosarcoma. Tomlinson, D. & Kline, N. E. (Eds.). Pediatric Oncology Nursing: Advanced Clinical Handbook. Germany: Springer; 2005: 2.9: pp.66-70.
  • Wang LL, Yustein J, Louis C, et al . Solid tumors of childhood. DeVita VT Jr, Lawrence TS, & Rosenberg SA. Cancer: Principles & Practice of Oncology. 9th ed. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2011: 123: pp. 1760-92.
  • Zinger Kotsubo C . Rhabdomyosarcoma. Baggott C, Fochtman D, Foley GV, Patterson K (eds.). Nursing Care of Children and Adolescents with Cancer and Blood Disorders. 4th ed. APHON; 2011: 31:1054-1070.