Rhabdomyosarcoma is a rare cancer that forms in the body's soft tissues, such as muscle and connective tissue. In rhabdomyosarcoma, the cancer cells look similar to immature muscle cells.

Rhabdomyosarcoma can occur at any age, but it most often affects children and young adults.

Rhabdomyosarcoma most commonly forms in the:

  • Head and neck
  • Bladder
  • Vagina
  • Prostate
  • Testes
  • Arms
  • Legs

Where rhabdomyosarcoma begins and the characteristics of the cells involved in the cancer helps determine your treatment options. Treatment options for rhabdomyosarcoma include chemotherapy, surgery and radiation therapy.

  • Collaboration. At Mayo Clinic, pediatric oncologists, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, surgeons, pathologists, radiologists and rehabilitation specialists work as a multidisciplinary team to care for people with rhabdomyosarcoma. Other professionals are included as needed.
  • Experience. Each year, Mayo Clinic doctors care for about 2,000 people with soft tissue sarcoma, including many with rhabdomyosarcoma. This experience ensures that your care team is prepared with the knowledge and resources to provide you with exactly the care you need.
  • Access to the latest. Mayo Clinic doctors participate in cooperative research groups that give you access to clinical trials testing new treatments for rhabdomyosarcoma.
  • A full range of treatment options to consider. Mayo Clinic doctors will work with you to review all of your treatment options and choose the treatment that best suits your needs and goals. The range of treatments offered to people with rhabdomyosarcoma includes surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
  • Comprehensive cancer center. Mayo Clinic Cancer Center meets strict standards for a National Cancer Institute comprehensive cancer center, which recognizes scientific excellence and a multidisciplinary approach to cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla., and Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Ariz., are ranked among the Best Hospitals for cancer by U.S. News & World Report.

At Mayo Clinic, we assemble a team of specialists who take the time to listen and thoroughly understand your health issues and concerns. We tailor the care you receive to your personal health care needs. You can trust our specialists to collaborate and offer you the best possible outcomes, safety and service.

Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit medical institution that reinvests all earnings into improving medical practice, research and education. We're constantly involved in innovation and medical research, finding solutions to improve your care and quality of life. Your doctor or someone on your medical team is likely involved in research related to your condition.

Our patients tell us that the quality of their interactions, our attention to detail and the efficiency of their visits mean health care — and trusted answers — like they've never experienced.

Why Choose Mayo Clinic

What Sets Mayo Clinic Apart

Mayo Clinic works with hundreds of insurance companies and is an in-network provider for millions of people. In most cases, Mayo Clinic doesn't require a physician referral. Some insurers require referrals or may have additional requirements for certain medical care. All appointments are prioritized on the basis of medical need.

A team of specialists at Mayo Clinic works together to identify the appropriate treatment approach for adults with rhabdomyosarcoma. The team may include specialists in hematology/oncology, radiation oncology, general surgery, pathology, radiology, and physical medicine and rehabilitation.

For appointments or more information, call the Central Appointment Office at 800-446-2279 (toll-free) 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mountain Standard Time, Monday through Friday or complete an online appointment request form.

A team of specialists at Mayo Clinic works together to identify the appropriate treatment approach for adults with rhabdomyosarcoma. The team may include specialists in oncology, radiation oncology, general surgery, pathology, radiology, and physical medicine and rehabilitation.

For appointments or more information, call the Central Appointment Office at 904-953-0853 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday or complete an online appointment request form.

A team of specialists at Mayo Clinic works together to identify the appropriate treatment approach for children and adults with rhabdomyosarcoma. The team may include specialists in medical oncology, radiation oncology, pediatric hematology/oncology, general surgery, pathology, radiology, and physical medicine and rehabilitation.


For appointments or more information, call the Central Appointment Office at 507-538-3270 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Central time, Monday through Friday or complete an online appointment request form.

See information on patient services at the three Mayo Clinic locations, including transportation options and lodging.

Mayo Clinic doctors and scientists are active in the latest research on sarcomas, including rhabdomyosarcoma.

At Mayo Clinic, you have access to the latest rhabdomyosarcoma diagnosis and treatment advances that result from this research and from Mayo Clinic's participation in cooperative research groups, such as the Children's Oncology Group and the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology.

Cancer research is conducted in coordination with the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center. The Mayo Clinic Cancer Center receives funding from the National Cancer Institute and is designated as a comprehensive cancer center — recognition for an institution's scientific excellence and multidisciplinary resources focused on cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

See a list of publications by Mayo Clinic authors on rhabdomyosarcoma on PubMed, a service of the National Library of Medicine.

Feb. 03, 2015